Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Attitude Pictures

Here's the New Attitude picture album

New Attitude

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Visiting my cuz....

After New Attitude, I got to hang out with my cousin, Travis, in Lexington. Growing up, me, him, and our cousin Lisa (all 4 months apart) played a lot together. I hadn't seen him for 8 years! He showed me around Lexington and I got to see some of the famous horse farms where horses are bought and sold for millions of dollars. I also got to see one of the more well-known racetracks, Keeneland, where the race before the Kentucky Derby is held (the Blue Grass Stakes). I got my head filled with all sorts of horse/farm/racing knowledge, which I've found interesting since reading the book "Seabiscuit" (Excellent book). Even though it was only about 16 hours we got to spend together, I had a lot of fun!


The grandstands at Keeneland

Each of these jockeys (silks representing the owner's colors) is holding the name of a horse that has won at this track recently.

Me and Travis (I was very tired, hence the bleery eyes!)

Recap by the numbers- New Attitude 2008

This is going to be a long post, so if you want the short version, just read what's directly below :)...

3500+ singles and young married couples who attended Na (New Attitude)
1300 Bibles purchased for Uganda
100s of bananas passed out by friendly "Ninjas" (coffee and donuts too!)
8 amazing messages on "Delighting in God's Word"
5 dedicated and Godly men preaching the Word
5 incredibly blessed and changed Sovereign Grace Church of Pearland singles who got to attend
3 awesome roommates!
2 specific verses to memorize (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
1 sovereign, righteous, and loving God.

By the way, I'm drinking honey and lemon water right now 'cause I sang and talked so much I don't really have a voice left!

I had really high expectations going to New Attitude this year. And God exceeded those! The theme of this conference was "Delighting in God's Word", really digging into the Bible, and spending time reading and studying this God-breathed (2Tim 3:16) book.

IF the Bible really is God's Word, THEN we're called to delight in it and obey it

Ripping, Burning, Eating

Josh Harris started the first night off speaking on Jeremiah 15:16 "Your words were found and I ate them , and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts" (ESV). He used two other passages (2 Kings 22:13 and Jeremiah 36), to focus on the questions of: What do you delight in? How should we relate to the Bible? Does it have meaning and application for our lives?

"Reading the Word becomes a delight when you realize that it is not what you do for Him, but what He has done for you"
-Josh Harris

The Authority of Scripture

Mark Dever spoke at the Sunday morning session on the Authority of Scripture. I really loved how he organized this message. The first half was aimed at those who do not yet believe that the Bible has authority, that it is not just a story (although still applicable to us believers!). He discussed the following questions/arguments that non-believers have:
1) There are too many translations (paraphrased)
2)Is this really what was written down all those years ago?
3)What was written down, is it accurate?

The second part was directed to those who have accepted Christ as their Savior- how important it is to be in the Word. The Word is God-breathed, it is active, it teaches Truth.

"You can't just know Scriptures and not put them into practice. Knowing and practicing Scripture go hand in hand"
- Mark Dever

Bible Q&A

Yeah, so I have about three things written down because I just couldn't keep up with Al Mohler and his vast amount of theological knowledge. This session convicted me of needing to dig down further into God's Word and learn the theology, the history. Why do I believe what I believe? He talked some tough questions taken from the audience. I'm going to have to listen to this message again and again to soak it all up.

The Troubled Soul: God's Word and Our Feelings:

CJ Mahaney is just awesome. So wise and so humble. He spoke on Psalm 42 and how we need to talk to ourselves and talk to God. Sound weird? Well, a lot of times, we listen to ourselves too much (in Melissa terms, I call this "self-pity"). We listen, when we need to be talking to ourselves. What do we need to be talking to ourselves about? Truth! We need to be telling ourselves Scripture and reminding ourselves of God's promises, rather than listening to ourselves.

Some nuggets from this message:
"Troubled souls cannot be trusted and circumstances can lie to us"
"The psalmist felt forsaken by God, but the Savior was forsaken by God"
-CJ Mahaney

What's the Point- Growing in Vision for Diligent Study
Eric Simmon's message was full of application. We're getting all this wise teaching, so what do we do with it? Is used 2 Tim 3:14-16 to encourage us to continue to study and why we should study. In these verses, Paul is encouraging Timothy to continue in what he has learned because this learning makes him (Timothy) wise for salvation.

"All of the Scriptures testify to Christ and the salvation that he offers"
-Eric Simmons

William Tyndale- A life transformed by God

I finally got to hear John Piper speak in person. The passion this man has for the Bible and for clearly communicating what it says to others is astounding. He spoke on the life of William Tyndale...who is that you ask? He translated the Greek New Testament to English in 1526. It was the first time EVER that the entire New Testament was in English. 9/10 of the King James Bible was created from Tyndale's translation. He was martyred in 1536, burned after being strangled, by the Roman Catholic Church. Dr. Piper said that to live a life like William Tyndale (forsaking everything to glorify God's name), we must die to two things:

1) Die to the notion that you don't have to work or think hard to achieve spiritual goals
2) Die to the notion that working and thinking hard are decisive for achieving spiritual goal

Those two statements aren't contradictory. 2 Timothy 2: 7 states "Think over everything...because the Lord will give you understanding".

Fighting for Faith

Dr. Piper spoke again at the Monday evening session on fighting for faith. He spoke on the following points:

1) The fight is a mortal fight- to the DEATH. You can't stop after 10, 20, 30 years of being a Christian. You fight until the end.
2) The fight for faith is a fight for joy (he had several other points to elaborate on joy- listen to the message- I can't do it justice :) )
3) Your major in life should be the Word of God.

To accomplish #3, you must be both disciplined and spontaneous. You have to have a plan to study the Word. He had us write down a time, place, plan (what we want to study in particular), and what we will memorize next. The memorization is what helps you to be spontaneous. When you are walking down the street and suddenly feel anxious, stressed, afraid...what are you going to pull out of your Scripture bag to combat that?

God as Father: Understanding the Doctring of Adoption in God's Word

For the last message on Tuesday morning, CJ spoke on Adoption, biblical adoption, adoption into the family of God, that we are His children, and what that means. He gave some specific resources for understanding our adoption as well (Kowning God- john Piper, Children of the Living God- Sinclair Ferguson, Adopted into God's Family- Trevor Burke). Sometimes it is hard to believe that God loves us, although we know we love Him. Understanding adoption allows us to see that it is God's love for us that allows us to love Him.

The summary? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" John 1: 1-5 (ESV)

To Him be all praise and glory and honor.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


So guess what my best friend is letting me borrow...7 seasons of Star Trek the Next Generation!!! They arrived today! I am SO not getting anything done for the next couple of months... (big grin)...and it's perfect timing, because my AC broke today and it is too hot to do anything but sit on my bum and watch some classic TNG...darn :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My girls

Five of my girls graduated from high school during the past three weeks. I missed Kiana and Cassia's, since I was still in India, but I stole these pictures off of Adrienne's blog:

Allyson (another one of my girls) and Cassia

Kamyl (another of my girls), Allyson, Kiana, and Adrienne

I was able to make it to Anna, Joy, and Adrienne's graduation yesterday though. I am so proud of all of you! Congratulations!!!

Anna, Joy, me, Adrienne

Tucson pics

So Blogger finally let me load some Tucson pictures from my trip last weekend. It was a flurry of family activities: graduation, graduation party, and Mother's Day.

Cutest nephew ever! (Who calls me "Sissa") sitting with his grandpa ("Papa")

This folks, is what we call a park in Arizona...a 20ft by 40ft patch of grass surrounded by desert :). Mother's Day picnic in the "park".

Bobby and his cake...I ate SO much cake! (Costco makes yummy cake)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bobby's Graduation

This morning we woke up at 4am (blegh!) and drove to Tempe for Bobby's graduation. He graduated from ASU with a double degree in Molecular Biology and Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology (yeah that is a mouthful!). Congrats bro! I am super proud of you!


New Haircut

I got a new haircut! And a new color. I'm loving it!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

India Trip Summary

Okay, so my few posts from India were pretty pathetic, so this will be a long post, but I hope to summarize a lot of what I saw and have now downloaded all of my pictures as well.

First of, I am just so thankful to have had the opportunity to go visit the Fraziers. They are such a fun family and God really paved the way for the trip- both during my travel to/from India and also as we traveled around the country. I so enjoyed playing with the kids (Hokey Pokey, airplane, thumb wrestling and dredging up countless songs from childhood up to sing with them (like "Father Abraham" and "The Ants go Marching...")). Fun times.

As I said before in my first India blog, a video camera is really needed to capture all the sights, sounds and smells. In Bangalore, the scents of burning trash and car exhaust are the strongest with the sounds of car horns honking to lull you to sleep at night. I will also associate mosquito repellent smells with Indian nights, as I doused myself nightly to ward off the little pests. There are millions of them here.

Mosquito carcasses the night after the apartment building sprayed

As you drive along the streets there are so many sights to take in- men pedaling bicycles (or sometimes walking beside the bicycle-as it is too full of sacks) loaded with things to sell, motorbike dodging between cars to get to the front of the line, store fronts brightly lit (until the power goes out and then lit by candles if no generator is available) showcasing cuts of meat, bedding, biscuits, sugarcane juice, fast food, furniture- they range from Western style stores to what can only be described as a pile of boards haphazardly nailed together-, women dressed in beautiful saris, noisy rickshaws spewing clouds of black smoke, gigantic trees that look like they belong in "The Jungle Book"...

Here are the full albums of Tipu's Palace, Bangalore Fort, and Lal Bagh Gardens.

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

Tipu's Palace and Bangalore Fort

We went to Kerala, a state in the southwest of India for 4 nights. This was definitely a trip of a lifetime. We landed in the city of Kochi (British- Cochin) and drove to Fort Cochin, which was founded by the Portuguese. This was definitely a touristy area, but for good reason. After dropping our bags off at a new little B&B called "The Mother Tree" (by the way- awesome B&B- I'm going to recommend it on Trip Advisor), our driver followed a local rickshaw driver around the town to view the sites. We saw a Dutch Palace (not much on the outside but had some interesting history), the Jewish Synagogue in which King Solomon was to have traded goods in, the Chinese fishing nets on the beach (so cool!), a couple of churches with some great Portuguese architecture, and ended the night with a show of traditional Kerala dancing and martial arts. The next day we drove to the town of Kumarakom and boarded a house boat. These boats were once used to haul rice around and were refurbished for tourists (by the way, we never ran into any Americans in Kerala- most of the tourists were Indians, Australians, Germans, and we also met some people from Lithuania). Our house boat had two rooms, a living/dining area and a kitchen in the back. We had three guides- two took turns driving and the third was our cook. We had amazing Kerala food three times a day, with delicious snacks of fried bananas and fresh lime sodas in the afternoon. The scenery was outstanding and so was the tranquility. And best of all, we were blessed with mild weather and almost NO mosquitoes!

After two nights on the houseboat, we met our driver back in Kumarakom and headed to Thekkady for our last night. Thekkady is high up in the Western Ghats mountain range and situated in the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. I have never in my entire life driven on such a scary twisting, turning mountain road. Thank God for Dramamine- it definitely took the edge off the motion sickness (that should tell you how bad those roads are). It was only a 80km drive or so, but took us almost 5 hours. There are tea plantations throughout the mountains and the view is breathtaking- however, the steep dropoffs (with no barriers I might add) didn't give a lot of opportunity to pull over for photo ops. There was this awesome moment where we rounded the corner and had to stop, because there was an elephant in the middle of the road working to move a large tree. It was one of those "We aren't in Kansas anymore" moments. Amazing. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel, scarfed some lunch and booked it to the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. Again, God led the way because we managed to get seats on the upper level of the boat even though it was sold out (granted, we did pay double :) ). The best way to see the wildlife is to take one of the multi-day treks into the jungle, but with our limited time, we settled for sailing around the man-made lake the British made in the 20s. It was well worth it as well, since we saw....ELEPHANTS!!!! And they even swam across the lake! I have a video of was impossible to zoom in, but those moving bumps are two elephants. We also saw birds, deer, bison, and peccaries.

The next day, both Colette and I took Dramamine and really enjoyed the ride (all 5 hours!) back to Kochi and the airport. It was a fantastic excursion and one that I highly recommend to everyone.


Monday and Tuesday were spent doing some last minute shopping and just hanging out and chatting. My last meal was beyond delicious (don't go to India if you don't like Indian food- there are very few other options :) ).

Before dropping me off at the airport, Colette, the boys and I, strolled through the gardens and shops at Leela Palace- a beautiful hotel next to the airport.

Leela Palace

The flight home was blessedly uneventful- all 32 hours of traveling. I am now going to pamper myself with a hot shower and then do some laundry. I can't wait to go to India again- God willing!

Monday, May 5, 2008

On the road again (in the sky again?)

My trip to Kerala? ... FANTASTIC!!! Lonely Planet says riding a houseboat through Kerala's backwaters is one of the top ten things to do before you die and I heartily agree with them. And I saw elephants! I'm headed to the airport in a few hours and will blog about it when I am back in Houston. Two weeks went waaay too fast. I am bummed to be leaving, but excited to see my family in AZ for my brother's graduation.