Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm ALMOST Finished!

I'm finally ALMOST done with the book Humility True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney. Outside of reading the Word, serving my family & the church, managing my home, participating in Bible Studies, I rarely have time to read anything else. I try to read at least a section before bed. Of course this is the time when I'm completely exhausted, so that's why it's taken me all summer to read a small, 174 page book!

Anyway, this book has definitely been life changing for me. Before reading the book, I already knew that I had a pride issue and desperately needed humility. So, I didn't need the book to prove that point to me. However, this book gave me so many practical ways of destroying the ugly pride in my life on my path to becoming more like my humble Savior.

The section that gave me the most insight was in Chapter 5 which had a "list of practical ways to weaken pride and cultivate humility." Below are the 6 ways that were discussed.

1. Reflect on the Wonder of the Cross
"Far from offering us flattery, the cross undermines our self-righteousness, and we can stand before it only with a bowed head and a broken spirit." - John Stott (p.68)

2. Begin Your Day Acknowledging Your Need for God
"From the moment I awake, I've learned to make statements to God about my dependence upon God, and in this way I'm humbling myself before God." (p. 69)

3. Begin Your Day Expressing Gratitude to God
"Let each of us recognize every day that whatever grace we receive from God is so much more than we're worthy of, and indescribably better than the hell we all deserve." (p. 71)

4. Practice Spiritual Disciplines - Prayer, Study of God's Word, and Worship
"By quietly pausing to study and read and pray before launching my workday, I can be confident that I've taken a step to weaken pride and strengthen humility." (p. 73)

5. Seize Your Commute Time to Memorize and Meditate on Scripture
"Even if you don't have a long commute, there are countless other segments of time throughout the day that can be seized as opportunities to experience God's transforming grace by memorizing and meditating on Scripture." (p. 74)

6. Cast Your Cares Upon Him
"When there's worry, when there's anxiousness, pride is at the root of it. When I am experiencing anxiety, the root issue is that I'm trying to be self-sufficient. I'm acting independent of God." (p. 75)

I urge all of you to read this book if you haven't already done so. May God's truth pierce each place of pride in our hearts so we can reflect His beauty through humility.

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Toothless Sweetie

My big boy just lost his front tooth.
He wanted to be sure to have a new look for his 1st day of Kindergarten on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Neighborly GodStop

Kempton & I experienced a GodStop this week. We have an older man living next to us who is pretty quiet & reserved. About a week ago, I noticed several people coming & going and cleaning up outside his home. I got really concerned because I didn’t see our neighbor. I thought he may have passed and I felt terrible that we didn’t get a chance to share the Gospel with him. Well, on Monday, we saw our neighbor taking a walk with someone assisting him and he was using a nasal cannula. Kempton immediately went outside to officially introduce himself (I had already met him) and found out that our neighbor had a major lung surgery (he said due to many years of smoking). Later that day, Kempton took over our contact info if he ever needed anything. Before he left, he prayed for them (the neighbor’s ex-wife and sister were also present) and shared the Gospel. He then asked if he could serve them in any way. The neighbor said he wanted to hang the American Flag up on his house, but was unable to attach the holder. Kempton eagerly did that for him (see above pic). So, not only was our neighbor alive, God gave us an opportunity to share the Gospel with him and show him the love of Jesus. God is Faithful!

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16


Be still, and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10

Beth Moore in her “Believing God” Bible study, coined the term “GodStop”. I realized that I had already experienced many GodStops, but now I had an actual term for it. “A GodStop is any means by which God seems to go out of His way in the course of your day to make Himself known to you. It helps us to grow more aware of God’s presence in our lives. The stop in GodStop comes from the acronym: Savoring the Observable Presence. Learn to say, ‘That’s God!’ and then Stop and savor the moment!”

May you have many GodStops today!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Do You Really Care?

Many people, including Christians, feel so sad & shocked when famous actors, singers, comedians, sports’ players suddenly die. Many admire these people’s lives & talents. However, why do many think that famous people are invincible? They're not just admiring a “make believe” character; they are admiring a soul that will one day give an account to God. If we really cared about these people, we would be concerned about the condition of their souls. The first question that should come to mind is – “Is he/she a believer of Jesus Christ?” Whenever you’re watching a movie, TV show, or game, be more concerned about where your admired person will spend eternity than how well they perform here on earth. If they haven’t trusted in Jesus, the Word says...

* You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:43-44

*Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. I John 3:8

With these verses in mind, we should NEVER look at people the same. See them as Christ does and pray for their salvation…that’s the best way to show you really care.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Family Retreat

We just got back from our Family Vacation which is why I haven't blogged in a week. We attended a Joni and Friends Family Retreat which is a five-day summer retreat where families affected by disability can find hope and get a break from the challenges of everyday life.

What an awesomely blessed week we had! One of the attendees said it best, “These retreats are a little piece of heaven on earth!” Someone else referred to the retreat as, “A place where there’s no stares, no points, no questions…Just Love!” That is what the Turner family & many other families experienced this past week. It was definitely a week of relaxation, refreshment, & rejuvenation.

The Top 10 Ways God Showered His Favor on us this week
1) He gave Christian & Carysse an abundance of peace & rest.
2) He mightily used Kempton to proclaim the truth of His Word to the families.
3) He gave me a greater love & appreciation for my son.
4) He blessed the moms with the privilege of getting a FREE massage.
5) He enabled me to not have to cook or clean for 5 days! Our food was actually brought to us. All we had to do was sit & be served.
6) He provided each family with a STM (Short Term Missionary) that humbly, wholeheartedly served the family the entire week. Thanks Elisa & Talitha!
7) He allowed me to encourage another sister in Christ and she in turn encouraged me.
8) He blessed us with a date night that started with appetizers on the beach shore, then a ride on a yacht, and ended with a delicious steak dinner.
9) He gave us the opportunity to take the kids to the beach for the 1st time. We had so much fun!
10) He blessed us with many new friends who share our challenges, but also share our joys of being privileged to parent a precious gift from Him!

Thank you Father for once again, "you have blessed the righteous and covered us with favor as with a shield." Psalm 5:12

(See Pictures below)

Our Family Retreat Pictures

Kempton speaking on God's Peace. He used this illustration to demonstrate how God's peace guards our minds from anxiety.

My 3 favorite people

Me & my kiddos

My little sunshine

Sweet moment


A helper in the making

The most gorgeous sunset I've ever seen!

Christian's favorite part...forget a dog; I think he wants a llama!

Adios! Praise Jesus for a great family vacation!

Monday, August 11, 2008


On Saturday, our church Bethlehem Baptist Church hosted “H3G” (Hoops, Hip-Hop, & the Gospel). Kempton & several other leaders from BBC had the vision to have this event to reach Minneapolis inner city for the Gospel. What a God-blessed time we had! We praise God for the fantastic weather (it never rained as was predicted), basketball tournament, plenty of food, & worship through the gospel hip-hop music of FLAME & J’son.

I have to admit that for many years I did not like gospel hip-hop (rap music). It just wasn’t my preferred choice of music. That is totally okay. The problem is when people take their choice of preference and think that it’s the “right” way. Many people have a negative opinion about secular hip-hop and YOU SHOULD (you should actually hate it- Psalm 97:10). On the contrary, don’t carry those same feelings over to genuine Gospel Hip-Hop which actually glorifies God. Once I started truly listening to the lyrics of some of these rap songs, I actually liked them because they pointed me to my Savior. After listening to them, I realized that many songs were more theologically sound than many sermons I have heard.

For example, check out the lyrics to FLAME’s Song “Joyful Noise” based on Psalm 95. To watch the video, click here.

So, I would encourage everyone to:
1) Replace any secular rap with God-exalting rap (if you need names of these artists, let me know).
2) Purchase God-exalting rap for those you know who like this style of music; especially someone you are evangelizing or discipling.
3) Pray for the ministry of Gospel rap to reach the hearts of the lost in this hip-hop culture and that it will be used to bring others to the Saving power of Christ. This may be the only avenue that many will hear about the Lord.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Mama’s Sweetest Moment

It was such a sweet moment when Carysse said “mama” for the first time at 10 months. However, the other day, when my 5 yr old heard his sister say mama and then immediately said “mama” for the first time ever, now that was the sweetest moment!

To be a mama is a very sweet gift, but to be called mama by your children is even sweeter! Thank you Jesus for all your sweet blessings!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

They're ALWAYS on guard!

This morning, Kempton & I studied Psalm 124. We focused on verses 1-2, 8:

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side— let Israel now say—if it had not been the LORD who was on our side…Our help is in the name of the LORD,who made heaven and earth.

Then we recounted how our life would be different had it not been for the Lord on our side. This topic goes along with a conversation we had earlier this week about how God has His angels watching over us. Psalm 91:11 says, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”

So today, we took a family trip to Home Depot to get a few things. As we’re walking to the register, a big white metal beam (approx 5 ft long) falls out of a lady’s cart toward our double stroller and lands right in front of Carysse. The lady immediately said, “I’m glad you all weren’t walking a few seconds quicker!” If we were, that beam would have definitely hit Carysse in the face. We were praising God all the way home! As we turned onto our street, I said, “Wow, God sure does have His angels watching over us”, then a big tree branch (see above pic) all of a sudden fell out of a tree and we swerved to miss it.

I believe God really wants me and all of us to know that He loves His children so much that He has placed His angels all around us. There’s no need to fear ANYTHING! NOTHING will happen to us that God doesn’t allow and EVERYTHING that God allows is for our good (Romans 8:28).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Diaper Explosion

Warning: The following blog may gross some of you out. Sorry in advance. :-)

Yesterday after Christian ate his dinner, Kempton took him downstairs to play while the rest of us finished up dinner. All of a sudden Christian started crying and heading back upstairs. Kempton went to the stairs, looked down, and yelled, “Oh No!” Then I ran over and saw a very disgusting sight. Christian had a huge explosion in his diaper. From the look of things, he wanted it off immediately because the playroom had lots of evidence of his struggle to get it off. Kempton cleaned up Christian while I cleaned up the staircase, the floor, the TV, the wall...ok I’ll stop with the grossness. Thank God Carysse was still in her highchair during this whole ordeal. Needless to say, Christian immediately started smiling & singing once he was in the bathtub.

This whole experience reminded me of the question that one of the elders of our church asked us during our membership interview. He asked if we were actively striving to “fight sin” in our life? What a great, yet convicting question. As stinky and messy as Christian’s diaper was, it can’t come close in comparison to what our sin is like to God. For example, the Lord referred to Israel’s sinful ways as “the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity” (Ezekiel 36:17). Also, Proverbs 26:11 states, “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” As you can see, sin is disgusting to God. As long as we’re on earth, we will sin. However, with the Lord’s help, we will sin less if we’re growing in righteousness. May each of us abhor the sin in our thoughts, words, & actions as we strive to live a blameless & pure life.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:11-14

Saturday, August 2, 2008

“What about him?” attitude - FINAL Pitfall

Click here for the introduction of this blog series.

This is the final pitfall. I know that I previously mentioned that there would be 10. However, I think this last one beautifully concludes this series.

Pitfall #7: We don’t realize that suffering for Jesus with joy shows His supreme value.
My pastor, John Piper, elaborated on this point so accurately in his book, In Our Joy. He said, “He (Jesus) did not die to make this life easy for us or prosperous. He died to remove every obstacle to our everlasting joy in making much of him. And he calls us to follow him in his sufferings because this life of joyful suffering for Jesus’ sake (Matt. 5:12) shows that he is more valuable than all the earthly rewards that the world lives for (Matt. 13:44; 6:19-20). If you follow Jesus only because he makes life easy now, it will look to the world as though you really love what they love, and Jesus just happens to provide it for you. But if you suffer with Jesus in the pathway of love because he is your supreme treasure, then it will be apparent to the world that your heart is set on a different fortune that theirs. This is why Jesus demands that we deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow him.” (p.21-22)

May Jesus be our ultimate delight, joy, and treasure.

“What about him?” attitude - Pitfall #6

Click here for the introduction of this blog series.

Pitfall #6: We are not keeping our minds on the Lord.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). Being concerned about what others go through and comparing your situation to theirs, takes our minds off Jesus. No wonder we don’t have peace! But what does it mean to have our mind stayed on Christ? It means our minds are stayed on: God’s character, God’s commands, and God’s covenants (promises). For example, if I’m anxious about something, my mind must stay on: 1) GOD’S CHARACTER – He is the Lord of peace (2 Thess. 3:16) and He is faithful (2 Tim. 2:13). 2) GOD’S COMMAND - His Word tells me to “Trust in the Lord with all my heart…” (Prov. 3:5a) and “Do not be anxious about anything but pray about everything” (Phil. 4:6a). 3) GOD’S COVENANT – He said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). A mind stayed on Jesus is the answer to PERFECT peace.