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#26 Notes: Isaiah 1

We chose Isaiah, Romans, and Song of Songs for goal #26. So #26 will be a series of posts simply sharing our notes on what we study together.

Isaiah will take us more than a year to study and will set us up well for what I consider to be one of the richest books in the Bible, Romans. Romans will be fun, you won’t want to miss that one… but we start with Isaiah 1.

Isaiah is called as a prophet in Judah under the peaceful reign of King Uzziah. Uzziah was likely Isaiah’s uncle. This book is a favorite because it, more so than any of the other Prophets, points to Jesus very plainly. Isaiah’s name literally means “the salvation of The Lord”.

vs. 1-9 The people of Judah (God’s people) have rebelled – God has established rules that we must obey. He is the Creator, we are the Creation. We owe everything to God our Father, He has given us everything we have.

vs. 10-15 God despises their empty sacrifices – The people are guilty of sin. Their hearts are far from Him yet they continue to bring sacrifices and offerings. Obedience reforms the heart. “To obey is better than sacrifice”… sacrifice without obedience is fake devotion – pretending. God wants our entire heart.

vs. 16-17 God demands they be clean and do good – God doesn’t reject them! He may reject their sacrifices but He doesn’t reject them but calls them back to Himself. This is a loving Father. While it is impossible to be completely clean and good in our own work, we are a sinful people, we can choose to stop doing evil and make good choices as we focus on the One who IS good. We cannot know good if we do not know God.

vs. 18-20 God gives them a choice – “Come let us reason together…” what a wonderful invitation! God invites us to talk with Him. “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow…” – He will not demand payment, but will completely wipe them clean!

vs. 21-23 God reminds them once again of their unfaithfulness – What was once faithful has become unfaithful. Purity becomes filth. Corruption turns the best into the worst.

vs. 24-31 “I will” THEN “you will”…. God makes a way for us to be reconciled – though corruption is present in His Church, He is able to rid her of it. He will not destroy but repair, rebuild, refine His people. God reforms people. If all that is present within a person is corruption, he will not survive the refining. Refining burns away all the waste revealing what is pure within. Restoration and a pure heart result in an honorable name.


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#88 Make salsa with our garden produce


This year after several years of talking about growing a vegetable garden we finally planted some tomatoes, peppers, squash, a couple melons, and a few herbs.  Salsa is such a huge staple item around our house.  Sometimes it’s what’s for dinner, and while we’ve made fresh salsa before we’ve never made it with some our own produce.  Once the tomatoes finally started producing we had what we needed for a huge bowl of salsa… and it was what was for lunch today! Yum!

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Life is a Highway

2012-06-04_019We have now been “retired” wedding photographers for well over a year now. I don’t miss it anymore. In fact we have not booked family portraits for months now. We may take those on again soon but for now my work at The Grace Mask is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing and Jason is quite busy being a super hero at Black River Imaging. (At least I think he’s doing super hero work… and I know many of his customers would agree.) We are LOVING our Saturdays and our evenings at home. Sometimes we do absolutely nothing but hang out at the house all day long on Saturday. It’s wonderful! This year A.J. will be 13, Audrey will be 7, and Alyssa will be 6. We are having a blast with our kids. They are so very smart and fun and creative. We share a lot of our family activities through Facebook and Instagram but I have missed writing personal stuff here at this site.

So much has happened in our family within the last 2 years. I do believe God had us sort of muted during that time so that we could simply rest and trust in Him. Of course, The Grace Mask blog launched in January 2013. I’m sure if you know us at all you know about that amazing venture. But most of the content at The Grace Mask is written by others. I simply edit it. It’s been a very long time since I have regularly written blog posts especially personal ones about being a wife and mom. I miss that. But in 2013 I was in listen mode. I was nowhere near share mode. When I think about 2013, I think about faith steps and trusting God in the midst of circumstances that we simply did not understand.

In 2013 we bought an abandoned church building at a tax sale.

2013 was also the last full year we had with Jason’s dad.

We will never forget 2013, we didn’t need to blog about it.

Jason’s dad passed away in late January this year. January was one of the hardest months of our entire marriage. Now almost 6 months later I believe we are ready to share life again.

So we’ve worked on this domain to transform it into a site that is more of a team effort compared to our Facebook profiles and Instagram feeds. In late 2011, we made our very first 101 Goals in 1001 Days list. We wrote it all out in a few hours. We did manage to meet about a quarter of those goals but many of the goals were just not in God’s plans. And that is OK! We still accomplished so much, including the purchase of an abandoned church… which was not on the radar in 2011. We also had no idea that we’d lose Jason’s dad to cancer in less than 1001 days. So we spent about 6 weeks thinking and praying over this new list. And yes, some of the goals are silly or easy. But some of the unmet goals on our original list are on our new list and some are going to take a lot of effort and faith. This site is personal and our kids are the intended, future audience. This is for them but you are welcome to come along for the ride. Many of the old posts are still visible because they are still good encouragement.

Life is a Highway by John Mellencamp was playing on the radio the moment Jason gave me his class ring one chilly November evening in 1995. In that moment I believe we both started looking at life as a path we would walk together. We are still walking and now, we have 3 adorable followers walking along behind us.  So if you followed us a few years ago as wedding and family photographers, welcome back! And if you are a new friend, glad to have you along. The pictures you’ll see here are not meant to be professional-looking – most of them will be posted from our phones. But I believe you will still enjoy our work! It is our hope that through this site you will see us…

Living in the full joy and peace of God’s grace. Knowing that as we work, play and serve we are showing His love to the world.”

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