Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rain rain go away


 

Lent Devotional Week 7

Lent Devotional Week 7

Day 35: PRAYER
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
In this verse, Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians to
continually posture their hearts toward God in prayer as
a daily rhythm of life. When we pray without ceasing, it
results in: 1. Confidence: Believing that God is ALWAYS
near, waiting and ready to listen and teach at any time 2.
Dependence and Humility: Prayer crushes pride. Prayer
says that I can do nothing on my own. Prayer says we
need God throughout the day. 3. Joy: Because of what
Jesus has done for me on the cross, I can confidently
and continually approach the throne of God in prayer.
We don’t have to pray. We get to pray! What rhythm of
your daily life could you incorporate prayer into (when
you wake up, your daily commute, walking to grab lunch,
before you God to bed)?


Day 36: COMPASSION
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your
throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you...
For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our
horn is exalted.” Psalm 89:14,17
As an expression of the joy of being in communion
with God–pursuing our righteousness only in light of
our sanctification in light of His steadfast love and
faithfulness–these words communicate that God has
the very best plans for His people because He seeks
to glorify himself. We reflect His love and faithfulness
by being compassionate and reminding others of God’s
character. In doing so, we fervently strive towards other’s
sanctification and God’s glory.


Day 37: PRAYER
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41
Jesus had just had his last passover meal with his
disciples, and is now in the garden at Gethsemane
praying. The disciples missed the severity of what Jesus
knew was about to occur, with his arrest drawing near,
and so they fell asleep. Jesus returns from praying, and
since they were not compelled to pray by his distress, he
instructed them to pray for themselves, that they would
not fall into temptation. When things seem to be going
well, it’s easy to get comfortable. This is a dangerous
place to be. If we aren’t praying for the power of the
Spirit of Christ in us, then we are walking into those
temptations with the strength of our flesh, and “the flesh
is weak.” As Paul admonished the Corinthians “Therefore
let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he
fall” “Take heed,” “Watch and pray.” We are weak, but
he is strong!


Day 38: FASTING
“Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, ‘Why
do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do
not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the weddings
guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away
from them, and then they will fast. “ Matthew 9:14-15
Let our fasting be driven by our heart’s deep hunger
for Jesus. Let our fasting be an act of joyful & awe-full
worship, done unto our beautiful God and Savior. Let our
fasting accompany prayers for our Lord’s return, for His
Kingdom to come and for His name to be exalted in all
glory forever.


Day 39: COMPASSION
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness,
and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has
a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the
Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And
above all these put on love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony.” Col. 3:12-14
As those who are chosen by the God of the Universe, our
heart’s response is to show empathy for those suffering,
to put the needs of others ahead of our own, & constantly
extending forgiveness as we have been forgiven. This
begins with love. When we dwell on the truth that we
were chosen and made holy, not of our own design or
effort, we are moved to compassion toward others,
recognizing their needs rather than their shortcomings.


Day 40: PRAYER
Matthew 26:39 “And going a little farther he fell on his
face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible,
let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will,
but as you will.”
Jesus shows us much in a simple prayer. We are invited
to pray to God as a Father with our best interests in mind.
This frees us to pray like Jesus that we would desire the
will of God the Father over our own will in this life. Let
us pray that we would love God, the things He loves, and
His will for our life; that He would banish all fear and
discontentment from us and free us to embrace His wi
ll.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A few hours away from NY

This past weekend we had to make a quick trip to NJ. (that was a nice 5 hour getaway). Ethan was sick, so we left him with my mom. (thank God for her!)

Since we were in Jersey, why not make a quick trip to the mall?! :)

Over the George Washington Bridge..



At the mall...enjoying the view of the easter eggs, followed by a great lunch at steak N shake. 



Ethan taking a long nap and catching bubbles with his cousin. I just love them together.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Guest Post: Meet Ashley Emmert from New York Love: Celebrate 27

Hello to Judy’s blog world! I am thrilled and honored to be a guest blogger!

My name is Ashley Emmert and I am the children’s director for Graffiti 2 Community Ministries. Graffiti 2 is a non-profit organization and a church that is serving the Mott Haven neighborhood in the South Bronx. Graffiti 2 started in 2005 and I have been involved since 2007.

Our ministry is very youth and children focused. We have after school programs for students from 1st-12th grades during the school year and a summer program that provides sports camps for the community. We do outreaches for the community for special events including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Right now we are getting ready for our Easter Egg Hunt. This year will be our 8th annual Easter Egg Hunt and we are planning for 2,000 people to attend!

In our after school programs we focus on homework help, Bible study, and we offer enrichment classes (think mini-extra curricular activities). We try to minister to the whole family, not just the kids and teens in the program. To accomplish that we require all parents of kids in the after school program to volunteer one day a week. This helps us staff the programs but also provides opportunities for us to build relationships with the parents.

Other weekly activities include Sunday services at 10 am, TNT (Thursday Nights Together) at 6 pm on Thursdays, and a Walk and Talk group for moms twice a week.

Graffiti 2 is funded primarily through individual donations and church partnerships. Each of our 6 staff members fundraise our own salary to work with Graffiti 2. Something I am doing this week to help in my fundraising is called Celebrate 27. I will turn 27 on Wednesday so I am asking my network to give $27 to support the ministry of Graffiti 2. To read more about Celebrate 27, visit my blog http://ashleyinnewyork.blogspot.com

For more info on Graffiti 2 you can check in with our website, http://www.graffiti2ministries.org where we post blogs about what is happening here. Giving can also be done online (under the giving tab) through PayPal or by mailing a check to:
Graffiti 2
PO Box 541559
Bronx, NY  10454

Feel free to spread the word about Graffiti 2 and Celebrate 27!



Monday, March 18, 2013

Saturday

This past weekend Anthony attended a men's retreat from church. So that left Ethan and I all alone =)

This was our Saturday...





7.15am wake up and milk time
9.30am blueberry/raspberry pancakes for breakfast
10.15am play time
11am nap time (thank the Lord)







While he sleeps...

Laundry and reading time for me 

1.30pm wake up time
1.45pm veggies and turkey for  lunch
2.15pm more playtime, learning his numbers/alphabet and reading time


After 3pm he and I both took a nap (second nap for him) and I dont remember the rest lol...


Just the two of us


Friday, March 15, 2013

Lent Devotional Week 6

Lent Devotional Week 6

Day 29: PRAYER
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it
with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
Pour out your heart in prayer, thanking God for the
answers that He has set into motion long before you
can discern the results. When you simply state your
concerns, your heart is full of tension. By thanking
Him for already answering your prayer, your mindset
becomes more positive and hopeful. Trust that God is
faithful.


Day 30: COMPASSION
“As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are
dust.” Psalm 103:13-14
Many times we forget our frailty and inability to be
righteous on our own. God is not surprised because He
made us and knows us as a father knows his children.
Walk in confidence that the Lord looks down and has
compassion on you even in your weaknesses.


Day 31: PRAYER
“And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because
she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and
Rebekah his wife conceived.” Genesis 25:21
The Lord God of Abraham was faithful to him in
finding a wife for his son, Isaac. However, Rebekah
was barren which at that time had severe negative
repercussions in society. But Isaac prayed, and she
gave birth to Esau and Jacob - Jacob from whom was
to come the nation of Israel. This was a Kingdom
sized prayer - a request for God to move in a big way.
What are some of your Kingdom sized prayers? Take 5
minutes and ask God to move in big ways.


Day 32: FASTING
“Then the disciples of John came to him, saying,
‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples
do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the
weddings guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is
with them? The days will come when the bridegroom
is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Matthew 9:14-15
Let our fasting be driven by our heart’s deep hunger
for Jesus. Let our fasting be an act of joyful, awe-full,
tearful worship, done unto our beautiful God and
Savior. Let our fasting accompany prayers for our
Lord’s return, for His Kingdom to come and for His
name to be exalted in all glory forever.


Day 33: COMPASSION
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and
beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility,
meekness, and patience, bearing with one another
and, if one has a complaint against another,
forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you,
so you also must forgive. And above all these put
on love, which binds everything together in perfect
harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14
As those who are chosen by the God of the Universe,
our heart’s response is to show empathy for the
suffering of others, to put the needs of others ahead
of our own in quiet confidence, constantly extending
forgiveness as we have been forgiven of the greatest
offense. This begins with love. When we dwell on the
truth that we were chosen and made holy, not of our
own design or effort, we are moved to compassion
toward others, recognizing their needs rather than
their shortcomings. Remember where you were when
your Savior claimed you as His own, and may the
outpouring of your heart be a true desire to glorify
Him through a love for His people.


Day 34: PRAYER
“And going a little farther he fell on his face and
prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this
cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as
you will.” Matthew 26:39
Jesus shows us much in a simple prayer. We are
invited to pray to God as a Father with our best
interests in mind. This frees us to pray like Jesus that
we would desire the will of God the Father over our
own will in this life. Let us pray that we would love
God, the things He loves, and His will for our life; that
He would banish all fear and discontentment from us
and free us to embrace His will.

Lent Devotional Week 5

Lent Devotional Week 5


Day 23: PRAYER
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still
dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place,
and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35
Being a musician and a native of “the city that
never sleep,” I’m naturally not a morning person.
Although there are implications for waking up early
to pray (perhaps sacrificing the comfort of sleep for
undisturbed prayer time), I believe that the central
point of this verse is that Jesus prioritized spending
time with His Father. Whether you are a morning
person or a night owl, the challenge for us today is
this: Are we willing to make the necessary sacrifices
to spend time in prayer? Do we struggle to pray or feel
our prayers are inadequate or superficial? Take some
time today to see what frivolous distractions you could
set aside to dedicate more time in prayer.


Day 24: COMPASSION
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they
do.” Luke 23:34
All it took was one look at people in need of a Savior
for Jesus to be filled with love for them. In His
dying breaths, Jesus showed the truest example of
compassion by not only forgiving those responsible for
His death but also interceding to the Father on their
behalf. In this season of Lent, let our hearts be heavy
for those in need, our prayers be constant in bringing
them before the throne, and our actions be stirred by
only a glance.


Day 25: PRAYER
“When those that love the Lord cry out to Him in
prayer, earnestly seeking His goodness and response,
we can trust that He hears us. He promises to be
near to us always, offering comfort and healing, as
He is the ultimate.” Psalm 34:17–18
Be encouraged: the God who created the heavens and
the earth is always present for and available to us. cry
out boldly and be covered in His grace.


Day 26: FASTING
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the
hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their
fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you,
they have received their reward. But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face, that your
fasting may not be seen by others but by your
Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees
in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:16–18
“When you fast”–not “if.” Jesus fasted and assumes
his disciples will do likewise. He doesn’t “need” us
to fast to be approved by men or Him, he merely
wants our presence. Consider starting with a partial
fast this week and not for merit or gain, but merely
to seek the presence of Father & be fed by Him.


Day 27: COMPASSION
“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying;
my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—
that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish
in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were
accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of
my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
Romans 9.1-3
The compassion that the Apostle Paul expresses for
his Jewish brothers in these verses directly reflect
a heart rooted in the compassionate gospel of
Jesus. The same people who ran him out of cities,
attempted to stone him to death, and would beat
him for his faith, Paul claims to have “unceasing
anguish” for. This begs the question: How do I feel
for my fellow New Yorkers? How do I feel for my
friends who I claim to love and have never lifted a
finger of aggression towards my faith? Clearly, my
life does not reflect the same depth of compassion
that Jesus showed me - laying down his own life for
my undeserving faith. Let us pray today for our lost
family, friends, and neighbors, praying for them to
be saved and that we would have the compassion of
Jesus and Paul to share the gospel with them.


Day 28: PRAYER
“’Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant
in prayer.” Romans 12:12
There are not many circumstances in life where I
can respond with joy and react to pain in the same
way. Consistent prayer implies that we are not only
uttering unceasing praise, but that we also endure
in times of pain and struggle. Prayer, this perfect
conversational design, is a gift; an invitation to offer
thanks and vent frustrations, but also to listen in
stillness to the Designer of prayer Himself

Lent Devotional Week 4

Lent Devotional Week 4 


Matsu for lunch

I had lunch with coworkers on Wednesday at one of our favorite spots in the upper east side. Matsu. The best!



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My desire to adopt


For those who know me, know that I am very passionate about adoption and raising a huge family. I believe this stems from the fact that I am one of 4 siblings, with all 3 of them being boys (and yes, I was the princess of the house, the only girl). My husband on the other hand is only one of two but thankfully, he shares the same passion as I do. Even before we were married we discussed the possibility of having a large family, including some of our own children as well as adopting how ever many God would allow us to have.

Scripture tells us that before we were saved, we were considered orphans, helpless, sick, poor, and needy. We were lost in our sin and shame, but God being rich in mercy rescued us and adopted us as His own, making us His sons and daughters, giving us identity in Him. Romans 8:15 says, For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”.
God relentlessly pursued us, so what greater way to demonstrate the gospel than to pursue those who are in need and extend the same love we've received to them?

Here's a link to a video on adoption that I love to watch over and over again. It serves as a motivation for me in pursuing adoption.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR9UyFh-PJk&feature=player_embedded


God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. - Ephesians 1:4-5