Thursday, August 28, 2008

Charles and I...

Kent reads Spurgeon's daily devotions online a lot, and occasionally I will stumble upon his page looking to be enlightened or encouraged. Today, Charles' thoughts resonate with my soul.

I am longing for those rare times where God's presence is so near and thick that you can literally feel him as you pray, worship, and go about daily tasks. It's those times that faith is easy and following the Lord is truly the desire of my heart. Today is not that day. In fact, that day has not come in months. Praise God for good teaching at The Village where I have learned to still pursue the Lord and live a life of faith even if I don't feel like it. Besides that, this life would be lived in vain if I worshiped the Lord only based on the feelings that it gave me or what he could provide for me. I have got to give him glory for all things, at all times despite how I feel. May my soul be desperate in all times for him, and may I cling to the hopes of what he is doing in my life even if I don't see it. More than all of these things, let me cry out in heart-felt worship for Christ's sake...for the fact that He came as my substitution for sin, and because Christ will return and His kingdom will come!

Anyway, I just thought I would share in case you may be having that day too. Spurgeon's daily below.

"Sing, O barren."—Isaiah 54:1.
THOUGH we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are "plants of His own right hand planting," yet there are times when we feel very barren. Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak, each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just such a state. "Sing, O barren, break forth and cry aloud." But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ. I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love wherewith He loved His people when He came from the heights of heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again. Come, my soul, heavy laden thou wast once, and thou didst lose thy burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross which gave thee life may give thee fruitfulness. What is my barrenness? It is the platform for His fruit-creating power. What is my desolation? It is the black setting for the sapphire of His everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will tell Him that I am still His child, and in confidence in His faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud.
Sing, believer, for it will cheer thine own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that thou art really ashamed of being barren, thou wilt be fruitful soon; now that God makes thee loath to be without fruit He will soon cover thee with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is painful, but the Lord's visitations are delightful. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be, for in Him is our fruit found.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pictures are up!!

Go to this website

Kentsten Wedding Pics

Click on our gallery and use your email address as the password. There are A TON of pictures so you can navigate quickly by using the categories (ceremony, reception etc) in the left hand corner.

Happy looking!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Who's Who..and other random fun...

My sweet husband has been super busy at work lately, so much that at times he has to do an hour plus writing at night. Me, trying to be the quiet wife, busies herself with reading or being on the internet. Though I received the final book of the Twilight series in the mail today (and have already plunged through 50+ pages:)is choosing the internet...aka blogging (like the new background???). Here is some random fun...

Can you tell which one is the Kent part of Kentsten and which one is the Kristen part? Pretty tough, huh. Or maybe we are actually the same person and this whole marriage thing is actually some deep twisted thing with a weird outcome. What?

Next, it's been a long time since I have posted anything of my adorable niece, Addie. Here she is on our day trip to Selado a few weeks ago. (She is trying to mimic the things next to her in the pictures)

And here she is singing her version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star...

Despite what my wife-in-training mentor thought (understand her skepticism on my Wifey 101 post), I have actually been cooking...and ENJOYING it! I don't feel like posting all the recipes right now...I will do that another day, but here are two of the recipes I have tried. This first one was a recommendation from Dawntoya . If you like spicy things, you will love this dish! Get the recipe here.

One of my favorite things I tried so far was low fat crab cakes.

Get that recipe here.
I served that with Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
I found this recipe on a blog...she has a lot of good stuff I want to try!

Sara Duran was our Tuesday night dinner guest this week, and she brought all of her old Cooking Light magazines which will hopefully turn into lots of delicious meals!

Okay, Kent is still busy, but I must get back to my Vampire Saga. More to come later...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Identity Crisis

I still don't have pictures of the wedding to share yet, but posting that one blog earlier this week got my juices flowing and I have been eager to share several different things. So check back in a few days for another post. Kent also has some stuff he wants to write about, so for those of you that know him you know you can anticipate being enlightened through his words.

At our rehearsal dinner we opened the floor for anyone that wanted to share stories or toasts. Many people shared very encouraging things, and I know that both Kent and I left praising the Lord for friends and family and the story that we find ourselves wrapped up in. After the rehearsal dinner was over and my parents and I decided to join some of our extended family for a drink at the hotel bar. It was there that my mom began to question some of the stories shared at the rehearsal dinner. She said that many people spoke of me having wonderful qualities that surrounded a "type-a" person: being efficient, planned, organized, etc, etc., but she wondered where were the stories of the Kristen she knew. The little girl that loved to spend hours upon hours reading, writing, and creating things, the girl who loved to cook, and the girl who once was the complete antithesis of type-a...hiding things under her bed, waiting until the last minute to complete anything, hanging any memorabilia on her bedroom wall regardless of how tacky it was...and on and on. My mom said that she regretted not sharing at the rehearsal dinner where this now "strong, type-a woman" had once been as a child.

That night I just laughed my mom's perspective off without giving it much thought, but somewhere during the time on our honeymoon I realized that she was right in someways. I think that during middle school and high school people in my life starting recognizing leadership qualities in me, so I was trusted with responsibility. I was placed as class president, youth group leadership team, etc, etc. This continued in college with me immediately stepping into major leadership roles in my sorority. It was during my time as ZTA president that I learned the skill of efficiency and how to get many things accomplished in a short period of time. I was praised frequently for my ability to manage a good GPA, running an organization with 150 women, spending time with my out of town boyfriend, and still maintaining a good social life. I liked how that praise felt, and so I learned to refine those skills of efficiency, organization, and leadership until I found my identity in my leadership. I graduated from college a little over 5 years ago, and somewhere in there a lot of the skills that I prided myself on had turned in to anxiety, rigidity and control. With the increase in these refined characteristics was also the decrease of some of my first loves like reading and creating.

For the first time since middle school I am currently not in any leadership roles. Kent and I agreed that our primary ministry focus for our first year of marriage would be and should be our marriage. Marriage has not only brought on the death of the unhealthy, independent spirit that I once possessed, but also the death of where I once found my identity. Praise God that when He kills a sinful, unhealthy portion of our flesh He also fills us with His Holy Spirit and births new life.

My identity is not found in leading this or that, not in being a wife, not in my personality or preferences, but in Christ alone. He is teaching me in order to be fully the person He purposed for me to be, I have to be rooted and found in Him. So, my mom was right, the Lord did give me a love for creative things. I love to read, write, and have long deep conversations. At the same time, God also created me as having a mind that enjoys leading, planning, and a good organizational system! In Christ, I am allowed to be all of these things for His glory and His purposes. Any of these things become sin the second they take precedence over the gospel of Christ.

For those of you that are still reading, I wanted to share some of the books that I have had time to read this summer. Warning..the spacing of all of these is weird, so sorry for that!

The first is Sacred Marriage. One of my student's moms gave me this book for a wedding present. The subtitle of the book is "What if God designed marriage for our holiness instead of our happiness. It is rich book filled with wonderful reminders and insight on the relationship of a husband and wife.

I have not completed this book yet, but if nothing else all women should read the chapter on the lies that women believe about their body. The author does a great job at identifying the lies and then leading you through truth to repent and combat those lies.

Okay, these next 3 are apart of a series (the 4th comes out today!!!). Many of you will laugh that I have read these thick books that are intended for teenage women.

Yes, the plot is about werewolves and vampires, but I am allowed to appreciate a good story...and these are great stories. There are parties tonight for the release of the 4th book, but instead I just chose to quietly pre-order mine online.

Sacred Sex...I am a huge advocate of this book, because it completely defined what sex between husband and wife is about. We all know that we are bombarded with what sex is according to Hollywood, magazines, etc...but this book defines what God intended it be.

The Road was awesome! The author is an amazing writer and is able to paint an amazing picture and story with his words.

Excellent story that evoked a lot of emotion. The theology is very questionable, but the some of the imagery is good and author wrote a good story. Read more about the thoughts regarding theology here.

This next one is one of my husband's favorite books. I finished it this morning, and thought it was excellent, but really deep. I think for me to fully grasp the story and the symbolism I am going to have to read it again.

I am currently reading Tim Keller's Reason for God. I think this book will be excellent resource when faced with the "hard" questions about why Christ. I know I have friends out there that are cursing me for having months off at a time, especially those who also know that I have had lots of time to watch movies I have never seen like Lord of the Rings (can I say, amazing!) and cook. More on those topics later.