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I’ve moved the Blog

Just a quick note to let you know that the blog has moved to a permanent home on my server. Check it out here:

http://me.christybroxton.com

It’s just a continuation of the thoughts started here. See ya in the new space. :)

Our school year is winding down and we’re gearing up for a great summer.

In fact, we’re using one of my favorite tools time-wasters to plan our list of things to do — Pinterest. You can see our 2012 Summer Bucket List and follow along on this blog as we accomplish our plans.

Our list is long and our time is short – less than 80 days! Someone else mentioned making an Instagram photo book with shots from their summer adventures. I think I’ll follow suit. See that cutie up there — consider that they cover shot for the Instagram photo book.

Setting Things Right

King Hezekiah orders the idols removed

“Hezekiah encouraged them with this address: “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!  He may have a great army, but they are just men. We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” These words greatly encouraged the people.
2 Chronicles 32:6b-8

These words have also greatly encouraged people for centuries. Yes, we do have a power far greater on our side but I believe that King Hezekiah had confidence in uttering these words because of the action he and his people took in the chapters prior.

These great words were uttered as the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, began to lay siege to the towns of Judah and as King Hezekiah was fortifying Jerusalem to ready it for an attack by this same invading force.

This chapter in 2 Chronicles opens with these key words: “After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work …”

What work?

The previous chapters recount Hezekiah’s religious reforms:

  1. Reopening the Temple in Jerusalem
  2. Restoring the true and proper worship there
  3. Taking care of the Levites and priests as prescribed by the law
  4. Celebrating the Passover as God intended (even following the rule to celebrate one month later if needed due to sanctification reasons)
  5. Sacrificing the sin and peace offerings for the entire nation of Israel
  6. Tearing down all pagan shrines and temples.

It was as a result of clearing out the false gods that had stolen their hearts and returning to the One True God, that King Hezekiah was confident in proclaiming that God – the God who King Sennacherib mocks openly in chapter 32 – would come to their rescue and not allow their enemies to prevail against them.

I love that King Hezekiah sets about these religious reforms long before there was a threat on his land by the king of Assyria. Sometimes it takes a threat to move people to action, but King Hezekiah’s changes were a direct result of his love for God. Verse three of chapter 29 states that “in the very first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah reopened the doors of the Temple of the Lord and repaired them.” (emphasis added)

He didn’t wait!

He combined his faith in God’s ability with prayer (2 Chronicles 32:20) and God answered in a big way. They didn’t even have to leave the safety of Jerusalem’s walls to defeat the invading Assyrian force.

“And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land.” ~ 2 Chronicles 32:21

Furthermore, when he returned to his home, some of his sons killed him with a sword in the temple of his own god.

It’s time to return to the worship of our God – the one true God – and to do right by Him in how we live our lives. It’s time to clear out the idols we hold dear and toss them into the wastelands. To rejoice in His feasts and enjoy the fact that He will pass over our iniquities because of the Blood of the Lamb that covers us. To sing again the Psalms of David, to build up our faith and to cry out for His deliverance in our lives.

There’s a precedent here … one that God honors every time it’s carried out in sincerity of heart: He has a way of escape for you. Perhaps an angel, perhaps confusion in the enemy’s camp, or maybe he will strengthen you to fight. Either way, He is sure to bring victory over what assails you, if you will turn fully to Him.

Recently, I’ve been enjoying a few new sites and gadgets and thought I’d share some of them with you.

Spotify:

First up is this handy music streaming program, Spotify. I LOVE IT!!! I can listen to whole tracks (as much as I want), make playlists, share them, and if I want I can upgrade so that I can download them as well. Literally, every genre is available and includes all the new and vintage songs my heart would ever need.

Oh, did I mention the basic program is FREE?!!!

Right now it is by invitation only and I, unfortunately, never got invites to send out. But  check the site and see if you can score an invite. It’s worth the effort.

Pinterest:

This fun site lets you create online visual ‘pinboards’ to store all the cool stuff you find around the web. It’s an endless source of ideas and fun stuff. You can follow what your friends ‘pin’ and share things with one another. It all links back to the original content. So, you’ll never forget where you found that cool tutorial or perfect item for your living room.

I do have invites for this one. So, if you’re interested just let me know and I’ll get you hooked up.

Google +

I know, I know, but it is cool and less crazy than FB right now. I also love the photo albums there much better. I have a ton of invites here too. So, hit me up and I’ll send you one. Even if you wind up not liking it/using it, at least you can say you tried. Right? ;)

Got any new things you are diggin’ lately?

 

 

Let’s see … where did I leave off? Just kidding! It’s been awhile, huh?

As previously stated, I am back to blogging. Honestly, for a while there, we just didn’t have too much to report outside of the mundane. So, updates of any nature seemed pointless  for a bit. Looking back I guess I was learning how to deal with a lot of the things in my life at the time and blogging was the last thing I wanted to do.

Church Update:

The last church update was nearly a year and 4 months ago — just prior to Easter 2010. In the 16 months since that update, the Lord has been at work. For the better part of 12 of those months, it was within us and the two faithful families that attended each and every service with us. The fourteen (yes, 14) of us met in the building God had blessed us with and believed with all our hearts doors would open and people would visit. (Believe me when I say this was truly not a “build it and they will come” sort of thing.)

In each of our families a war was raging ~ would we make it or would we pack up and head toward something easier and more familiar? In the midst of some of our hardest times, Fran Murphy came for a visit and shared with us some things God had impressed upon her heart. Words like, “You’re about to enter the toughest test of your lives” and “You won’t grow until you get this right” weren’t exactly music to our ears and certainly didn’t help to brighten the mood at the time.

Things did seem to go from bad to worse – for all fourteen of us – after she left, but something was happening. God was knitting us together as a family ~ one great, big extended family! The fourteen of us fought for each other in prayer, helped each other as best we could, and leaned into God probably harder than we ever had.

Around Easter of 2011 – nearly a year had passed with the fourteen of us still faithfully meeting in that building (Yes, we occasionally had a visitor or two and God did send a precious lady during that time that has faithfully attended ever since.) it was as if God flipped a heavenly switch!

If I had to hazard a guess, I would estimate that not more than a week or so passed from when we felt that we had “gotten things right” that a family was added to our mix. This is a faithful family that we all dearly love and are glad God has allowed us to partner together.

We were now 20 strong and I am pleased to tell you that the next three months passed and the church doubled in size. Now  … when you talk about ‘doubling’ and your numbers are still less than 50 some folks may not be impressed. Let me tell you … what GOD has done is nothing less than a miracle. Each Sunday we are seeing new faces and enjoying developing new friendships. Our church is a family and it is so humbling to realize it is nothing (repeat NOTHING) we have done to bring us to this point.

I promise to introduce you to as many of these new faces as possible and to pass along our stories when appropriate, but for now, here is a short synopsis:

A fair majority of those who are regularly attending are between 18 and 30. We have several young families and a good smattering of 40s and up as well.  A large majority of those in attendance are new believers. In fact, we’ve had the privilege of presenting THREE of them with their first Bibles … ever in their adult life. On Memorial Day weekend there were five baptisms and another young man accepted Jesus two weeks ago. This past Sunday, James and I had the extreme privilege of the first baby dedication as a church (I can’t wait to tell you that whole story) and we’ll be firing up a College and Career group this coming Sunday.

The last week of July we finally broke over the 50 mark. 53 to be exact – and we were missing 6 of our regulars.

I know this post is getting long so let me leave you with this story ….

About six weeks ago this idea of having folks actually attend church with us was still pretty new to us. We got a kick out of seeing more than our few cars in the parking lot, so we were standing on the porch of the church admiring the parking lot (it’s really nothing more than a grassy patch of lawn that serves as a parking area) and the cars in it.

I started counting cars and it turned out there were 14 vehicles in the parking lot in all. Out loud I noted that we now had as many cars in the parking lot as we had people in the church at that time last year!

You see … even the small things are big things when God is moving and blessing.

No apologies for missing a year of updates ~ I’ve been busy! :)
But … consider this blog officially revived. Follow along if you like, but its revival is mostly for me. I need to write – to chronicle –  and this seems the best way to accomplish that for now.

This past year + has been full of exciting ups and downs but God is SO faithful and I’m glad He is in charge of things in my life.

I’ll be updating things as they come to me and highlighting stuff in general ~ same blog format, just with a year’s hiatus.

As an aside … I’ve also setup a professional website for my WordPress site design work. You can find it at http://christybroxton.com 

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