Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My ebay Addiction

I have to admit it... I'm addicted to ebay! I bought 4 out of the 6 presents for Tim off of ebay. I would bid on something and then constatly check it the next few days to see how my bid was going. If I got outbid, I would be frantic, trying to think through how much I could spend and what the item was really worth. I even stayed up until 1 a.m. one morning, waiting for a bid to close! That's when you know you have gone too far :o)

Honestly, I was pretty skeptical about the whole online shopping scene prior to this year. I figured that I would just try it. It was so simple and convenient! I actually saved money too! I only had one problem with a seller sending the wrong color of something. I sent it back with a note and they sent me the correct color. Other than that, I have gotten exactly what I thought I was bidding on.

Has anyone else every tried eBay out there? Any stories, hints, or suggestions? Thanks for the input :O)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Gifts for Theological Students

I thought that this might be a good post for any of those wives out there whose husbands are in ministry, but don't know exactly what to buy them. If that is you, here are some suggestions that you might want to look into. If you have any questions about titles, authors, or places to shop feel free to post a question or email me.

First, you need to use a book search engine. This is a small list of a few engines that will help you get the most out of your dollar:;; or As far as book suggestions go, allow me to make a few recommendations.

Most theological students spend their resources on commentaries because they plan on going into the pastorate which will require purchasing and acquiring books that will help them interpret the Scriptures. The New Testament Commentary Survey by Carson and its Old Testament companion by Longman are designed to help students and pastors make wise choices about which commentaries to buy. This runs for about $12.00 and will be one of the most used books in your husbands' library.

Commentaries are always helpful -- and especially when they are a mixture of good theology and good interpretation. The best way to choose a commentary is by 1) checking your husband's library in advance to see where he has covered and where he hasn't; 2) if your student already has this book, check to see which commentaries to buy or ask your friendly neighborhood seminary student -- but make sure they know what they are talking about.

Another idea for your student is to buy him some theology books. These are always refreshing and needed in theological study. Try a Theological Dictionary. If your student use these words -- "reformed," "Calvin," or "election" -- with any frequency and in a positive context try getting him The Institutes of Christian Religion. If your student talks about Biblical Theology and the need to respect the themes of each author of Scripture you might consider a couple books in the series New Studies in Biblical Theology. These are always well researched and are on a variety of subjects that are both intellectually and spiritually stimulating.

If you are looking to do something a bit more creative this year you might think about getting your student an iPod. Julie bought me one last year for my birthday and I have listened to over 80 hours of theological lectures on it since then. There are an abundance of free theological mp3 resources on the web (see here and here) and so this might be a good way for your husband to have his spirit renewed while doing work in the yard, working out, or driving in the car.

Even better -- any student needs time to rejuvinate spiritually and physically. Give your husband a reservation to a theological conference that he would really love to attend. This will allow him to hang out with some friends and take in some good encouraging preaching in a relaxed atmosphere. Piper's Desiring God conference or the next Together For the Gospel conference are both great choices.

Lastly, while all theological students enjoy tools for reading and understanding the Scripture, they are still guys -- this means that baseball jerseys, tickets to a game, electronics, tools, a gym membership/equipment, or gear for their hobbies will always be a winner -- if you can combine the two, even better.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Home for the Holiday

This past weekend Tim and I went home to Pennsylvania for our Thanksgiving break. We left Wednesday after our half day at GCA and we returned Sunday morning. Both of our families live in PA, just a half an hour apart, so we have a pretty good deal! We spent Thanksgiving Day with Tim's family at the Reynold's Mansion . It's a beautifully designed victorian home located in the Historic District of Bellefonte. There were 24 Baylors in all at our Thanksgiving table! We had a wonderful time fellowshipping, eating (too much!),and playing games with family.

Friday Tim and I traveled out to my parents farm house in State College. We kiddingly call it the "Jordan Compound". It was just my Dad, Mom and brother Josh who were home. We spent the time catching up on things, and playing Settler's of Catan (our favorite)!

The next day we went out with the family and a friend to a local 50's diner called "Babies". We had mini burgers, cheese fries, and Vanilla cokes. --Again-- just one more reason for me to get to the gym :o)

Overall, we had a great time with both of our families. We enjoyed the fellowship and time away.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Flower Power

Tim has been doing a series on the five points of Calvinism on his theology blog: Luther's Stein.
I have really enjoyed reading them, and I thought you might too. I have to admit, that I use to think that these points were too deep or intricate for me to understand in a practical way, but after reading these five posts , I am thinking differently about them!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

" Rachel Ray saved our Marriage"

That's what Tim always says when I make something new from Rachel Ray's cooking magazine. I have to admit that I am not the best, nor the most motivated cook around. I get stuck in my rut of the few good meals I know and I stick with them.
Tim loves when I make new things, so I am going to try to turn over a "new leaf". I had some extra time and a little bit of motivation, so I sat down and planned out my meals for the next week and a half until Thanksgiving break. I listed the ingredients that I would need to make the meals and tried to include one new meal each week. Hopefully this will help me in my goal.
Rachel Ray is a great resource. She has simple and tasty meals.

If you have any ideas about how you keep yourself organized and motivated in the kitchen, I would love to hear them!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dry Spell

I have recently been struggling through quite a "dry spell" spiritually. To be honest that is part of why I haven't blogged in a while. I felt like I had nothing that I wanted to say. At the risk of being misunderstood, I am going to be very honest, hoping that it will help others facing the same thing.

I have been struggling with some deep anxieties, discouragement and depression in the past few months. I've been down about almost everything and have been unable to pull myself out of it. I guess that was the problem. I was trying to pull myself out of it and it hasn't worked. I tried going to the Lord through prayer and the Word, but honestly, it didn't take away my problems, so I just began to give up and push God away. I thought I could handle it on my own. I am very aware that there is a physical element to depression. And this post by no means denies that, but there is also a VERY spiritual aspect to depression.

When we as believers make it a habit to look to ourselves, comforts, or others for strength instead of our Savior, we are crippling ourselves. Soon those things give way to fear and lonliness and we are worse off than when we started.
No matter the issue of discouragement or anxiety, we need to learn to LEAN on the Lord, fully satisfying ourselves in Him.

After months of pushing the Lord away, the Holy Spirit broke into my heart this morning, giving me HOPE. I woke up this Saturday morning feeling despertately in need of my Savior. I spent much needed time in prayer-repenting, seeking, and praising. A desire welled up within me that had not been there for some time. Could this have come from my heart? Certainly not! My heart is desperately evil and wicked above all things. This came from the hand of the Holy Spirit. He graciously broke into my calloused heart to reveal my sin and my NEED for his grace.

I went to His word and He "opened my eyes to see wonderous things out of His Law". I was reading through Philippians and I got to verse six in chapter one and I was just stunned by a verse I have read so many times before. The verse reads, " And I am sure that God who began the good work in you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again." He has promised to continue the good work of faith, which he began in me. And not only continue it.... but continue it until it is FINALLY finished. What a blessing! What a blessing that I don't deserve!

The second passage that I came to was Philippians 2:13, " For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him."
It is God who is working in me to bring about desire for spiritual things. It's only by his grace and his power that I do what pleases Christ.

I know that this doesn't mean the road will be easy from here on out, but I do know that God is Sovereign and that His grace is sufficient for me in my weakness.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Gospel For Real Life

I've recently been reading The Gospel For Real Life by Jerry Bridges. I have really enjoyed it. The basic premise of the book is that "the gospel is the very lifeblood of our walk with God".

The chapter I just finished was entitled "Gift of God". Bridges talks about how we were completely dead in our sins and transgressions. We were in bondage to sin and to Satan. There was no way that we could please the Lord. It was while were were in that bondage, that Christ made us alive in Him by giving us FAITH! Withough the gift of faith, we would not have believed in Christ. Our response to this should be thanksgiving and worship for all of our days!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Back to GCA

Well, Tim and I started back to GCA on the 21st of August for inservice. We spent a week getting our rooms and curriculum together and then on the 28th the kids came back to school. We really only had a four day week the first week because we got Friday off for Hurricane Ernesto, and then we had a four day week the next week as we had Monday off for Labor day. We both really loved having four days of work, then a four day weekend, the four days of work again :o) I wouln't mind if every week was like that!

Tim is teaching Theology, Greek and History this year. He really seems to be ejoying his group of students . I have 19 fourth graders that seem like a really great group of kids as well. I have 7 boys and 12 girls! This is quite the classroom change as last year I had mostly boys. Let's just say it's a whole lot calmer in the classroom... and I get a lot more hugs. I would include a picture of my students, but our digital camera is at Canon right now being fixed, oh well! That's about all that has been going on for right now. I will try to do better at keeping the blog updated :O)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sin, the Wrath of God and the Gospel

The cross cannot be understood by itself – it has to be understood in context of its need. Understood by itself, the cross is just a brutal beating; but understood in its context, the cross becomes a statement of God’s love. So before we can rightly understand the cross, we must first understand our need of the cross –

Romans 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (NASB).

The Bible teaches that we needed the death of Christ, and that it was demanded by our sin. This is what Romans 5 means when it says that Christ died for the ungodly. It means that the sin of man made Christ’s death necessary. In the Bible, Sin is anything which dishonors or displeases God. Sin always angers God, it always separates Him from man, and worst of all it always demands His punishment and wrath upon the person who commits it:

Psalm 5:4-5 4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. 5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil (NLT).

Romans 1:18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people . . . (NLT).

Colossians 3:5-6 Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming [upon those who are disobedient] (NLT).

We should not overlook that the God of the Bible is not just a God of love; he is also a holy God who hates sin – and his wrath is something to be feared. It would be a mistake for someone to assume that if God is love, then he will not punish sinners. We are repeatedly told that God’s wrath against sinners is frighteningly intense, and that he will show them no mercy in the judgment.
Rev. 14:10 presents a particularly graphic picture of God’s wrath. Those who worship a false messiah, according to this text, will experience God’s wrath at its worst – John compares it to drinking unmixed wine:

Revelation 14:9-10 Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, 10 they will also drink the wine of God's wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

In cultures of the day wine was stored in wine skins, and when poured was generally cut with water by a 1:1 ratio so as to prevent those from drinking the wine from becoming drunk. To drink wine “full strength” meant that the wine was not cut with water at all – those who drank in this fashion desired to get drunk. The imagery here is that God will not “cut” the wine of his wrath with the water of mercy; those who are disobedient will be forced to drink God’s wrath at full strength!
Though this aspect of God might not be the most enjoyable for us to think about, it is essential to the gospel. The gospel is about salvation from something – if God does not punish sinners, if he has no wrath for the ungodly then there is nothing to be saved from.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Meaning of the Gospel

As many of you know, I have been writing a curriculum for the school that I teach at which will instruct new believers in the basics of the Christian faith. I am currently writing on the meaning and importance of the Gospel, and I thought to myself, what better way to create fodder for writing than tossing them onto the blog for friends and family to interact with. So, over the next few weeks, I will be doing a series of posts on the Meaning of the Gospel. I would encourage you to make any comments or especially ask questions about the posts. My hope is to turn the series into an applicational section at the end of the curriculum so, as you participate in these posts, you participate in building this tool for discipleship. Thanks.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Our Visit to Pennsylvania

We recently returned from a trip to PA. Everyone was there! My parents, His parents, His siblings, my siblings and nieces and nephews. It was so fun! We went to Hershey park one day and had the best time! The roller coasters were amazing!

Then we went State College and to Bellefonte to spend some more time with family at our "Home Bases"

I used a new slide show program, so just click on "VIEW" To see the pictures :o)

RockYou slideshow View Add Favorite

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Family in town

This weekend my brother Tim, his wife Shannon, and my twin sister Rachael ( the one next to me :o) came to visit! So do you think my twin and I look alike?

We went to a GREAT restaurant along the boardwalk. It's called "Watermans" They have the best crabcake sandwhiches around!

We had a great time on the beach with them. We walked along the boardwalk, checked out the massive statue of Neptune and caught up on things.

That night we went to Bravo for dinner. We had the hook -up too! My sister rachael, works at Bravo part time as she is starting her sewing busines. Well she had been working there for years now and she gets a 70% discount! So we went all out... appetizers, drinks, great meals, and dessert! It was amazing. For the five of us the bill should have been $135, but instead it was only $60! Talk about a deal! --Ohh yea, that's my brother, Tim making that great face at the camera--he cracks me up!

Tomorrow mornng we are all heading up to Hershey's Park to meet my older sister, her husband and three girls. After that we'll all head to State College, PA where the rest of my family and tim's family lives. We'll be there until Monday :o) Everyone have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Out of town friends

A bunch of friends came into town from Colorado and Wisconsin. We spent this past weekend together catching up on things.
In this slidesow are Amanda and Garrett Lee, Tim and I, Renee and Andrew Newland adn their little boy Ashton,Sarah Dawn and Tim St.Clair, Beth and Jeremy Wickert, and Don and Katrina Hines.
We enjoyed food and felowship at local houses, and went to the beach and on a dolphin cruise.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Graduate School

Well. I have finally started my master's degree. I am talking the Reading Specialist degree through ODU. GCA actually offered two Reading courses on their campus through Missouri State University. I took both of those and last night I FINALLY completed all of the work for the two classes. I have to say, I'm not sure how the guys do it.... classes and work every day and homework every night. I certainly have a new appreciation for my husband after finishing these classes. I am planning on taking maybe just one to two courses a semester, hoping to finish before we leave. That's the "Plan" anyways :o) We'll see....

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Beauty of the Gospel: Reflection on the Death of a Friend

Yesterday, Julie and I recieved news that a very close personal friend of ours, Matt Wigfield, was found dead in his apartment.

It so strange to hear about the death of a friend. Matt and I knew each other for almost 10 years, and spent a ton of time together. Those of you who know me best could probably recite by heart many of the stories that I shared with you regarding Matt, the One-eyed-wonder, and myself. Throughout High-School and College, Matt, One-Eye, and myself were frequently together doing something stupid. In fact, Tim Jordan's (Julie's brother) first run in with the law was at my house with Wigfield. I remember sitting next to Matt on the night he first professed Christ, and then praying with him, and discussing the Bible with him in the weeks after his profession. I loved Matt like a brother.

When I heard the news on my way to church Sunday morning, I was in total shock. You don't expect friends to die. But then again, you don't expect friends to struggle with addiction either. In High School, Matt had an on-again-off-again battle with addiction to Marijuana. But once Matt was in college, addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs began to take hold. Matt was in and out of jail, in and out of rehab, and in and out of discipleship repeatedly during that time. My father-in-law welcomed Matt into their home and loved him like a Son, and preached the Scripture to him daily -- but the addiction never let go. Over the last two years, Matt's spiritual status became more and more ambiguous . . . and fruit of conversion less and less obvious. On numerous occasions Tim and I confronted and prayed for Matt . . . his repeated struggles never changed our love for him.

As I worshipped Sunday morning, I was overwhelmed by a flurry of thoughts, as I still am: the helpless feeling of not knowing the spiritual condition of one of my closest High-School friends, the hope that Matt was in heaven, the desire to pray for grace, but knowing that it was too late for that now. I felt guilty for not praying more when he was alive, and I hated myself for not keeping in touch.

In the middle of all of my tears and confusion there was one thought that was crystal clear: "Thank You God, for the gospel! Thank You Lord for saving me!" The gospel is all that matters in times like these, because it is the only thing that offers hope. It offers hope because the gospel is about God's ability to satisfy what Matt could not. Matt's performance as a Christian was, at best, lackluster. But if Matt had faith, however weak, the gospel made him righteous! As Alexander Maclaren said, "If I trust to him, and am thereby holding firmly by him my union with Him is so real, that . . . His fulness passes over into my emptiness, His righteousness into my sinfulness, His life into my death." It is the power of the cross alone which can take an addict, and make him a saint, celebrated by God himself.

But perhaps more poignently for me this Sunday as I wept, was an extreme thanksgiving that God would save me . . . that God would open my eyes . . . that he would call me. I rejoiced in the gracious statement of Paul, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners -- of whom I am the worst," because it made sense to me. I wept as I thought of how arrogant and self-righteous I had been when Matt slipped into addiction. I thought I was so much different than Matt was, so much better; and then I remembered 1 Cor. 1:21-31: "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles, but to those whom God has called . . . Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Why is the gospel beautiful? Because through the gospel, God lays hold of those too weak to lay hold of him.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Our Third Anniversary- Part 2

There were plenty of used book stores in Charlottsville. This one was the most impressive.


Tim insisted on taking this Next picture on our trip, claiming it was Noonan's new restaraunt...yikes!!


On a more serious note, we visited the campus of U.V.A. while we were in town. What a beautiful shcool! We were so impressed!

One of the most enjoyable parts was staying at the Laffayette Inn.

Our room was so comfortable and quaint. We loved it! We would HIGHLY recommend it!

We also ate two meals there. We had dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. The food was absoulutely amazing!

After breakfast, we drove the Skyline Drive to see the scenery. We some some gorgeous views!

The LAST thing that we did (I know this has been so long!) was we went to Monticello. We both enjoy Historical things, so we really did enjoy learning about Thomas Jefferson, seeing his house, and walking through his vinyards and gardens.

And that ENDS the story of the Baylor family vacation...thanks so much for tuning in :o)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Caleb John Heckathorne

Julie and I want to welcome one of our favorite new people into the world, the new son of my sister Suzanne, Caleb John Hecathorne. What an honorable name he has inherited! Caleb was a man of faith and courage, and there are so many men named 'John' worthy of honor (John Baylor, John Calvin, John Murray, John Edwards, John Starks). Welcome to the family Caleb! May the Lord create in you a courageous heart filled with faith which fearlessly pursues God's pleasure in all things and in all things finds the pleasure that comes from God.