Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Real Sex Appeal

Special Olympics of Iowa called a few weeks ago, promising not to sell anything.  Well, after a five minute phone conversation, I hung up with a two-year subscription to Shape magazine. I thought it'd be the safest option as far as magazines go - now I won't lust after tropical climates from a vacation magazine or covet over the latest trends from Vogue or read about trashy celebrities in People.  

Yesterday my first edition of Shape arrived.  I had no idea that it has a section called: Shape Your Life Sex.  This month, they're encouraging women to "Dress to Thrill."  The question is: should you choose a cute or provocative Halloween costume?  "Both," Debra Macleod, coauthor of The Fantasy Sex Deck (the title says it all...UGH!).  Having a provocative Halloween costume will "channel your inner naughty" and add new twists to "something you've done hundreds of times."

 I can't help but notice how opposite this Shape "advice" is from God's advice as written in His Word.
  Women are so confused about their womanhood; they are resorting to sex appeal to fulfill their longings.  There they will only find pain and rejection.  In what does God instruct women to adorn themselves?
Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
I Peter 3:3-4

Everywhere, in everything, be testing what you hear against God's Word.  I was watching the TODAY Show Moms and couldn't stand what I was hearing - I had to shut it off.  It is totally counter-cultural for how God tells us to live; I had to remind myself that I am to lay down my life for my son and husband - it's not about me!  They had one women on the show who left her husband and two kids to "find herself."  It was disgusting and incredibly sad.  I can't listen to that or it tempts me to put my own wants above those whom I am called to serve.  Christ laid down His life for me; I am to take up my cross daily and lay down my life for my family.  The Today Show and Shape magazine definitely don't encourage me to do that.

May you be encouraged today to think critically about what you see and hear - anything that may hinder your walk with Christ.  Spend time meditating on what He says in His Word, that you may exude real, godly "sex appeal!"
 (P.S. Married ladies, by all means, buy that provocative nurse costume and wear it only for your husband!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Farm

Harvest has begun in Iowa!  And this year I knew what a combine was before it even started. Our friends from church, Daryl and Kathy, graciously gave us a tour of their farm and showed us all that harvest entails.  It was a beautiful, cool day and we had so much fun!

 Aidan and Daddy rode in the big tractor!

After the corn is harvested, this tractor plows the field.
 Daryl and Kathy were so kind to give up time out of their busy schedule to sit and wait while we had tractor rides!  Thank you!
Then we went to see Daryl's cows.  If you eat Tyson meat, these cute guys are what you're eating.  Sad.

 Family picture by the stinky cows!
I think they are so adorable.  I love beef, but I wish God made it grow on plants so we didn't have to kill these cute little gents.  But His ways are perfect - I just have to remember that!
Aidan had so much fun.
 He even sat on a horse!  He wasn't too sure about it, though.  He likes Leo-sized animals best.
 Lastly, I rode in a combine!  Can you see me?!  We combined corn - that is quite the process.  Those machines are so impressive.
This is my combine driver, Rusty.  Thanks for the ride, Rusty!
Thanks, Upmeyers, for a fun farm day!  We loved it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


This has been quite the week.  Aidan is cutting teeth.  Leo is crazy.  Aidan is clingy.  Leo is wild.  Aidan is whiny.  Leo is a chewer.  Both are busier and more mobile than ever.  Additionally, Brian is going through hard things and it's difficult to watch.  AND, we've been trying to purchase a vehicle and that's not going well.  I am exhausted - between company, over zealousness on my projects, staying up late with the hubs, waking early with the boy, I'm about to crash.  Wait, I did crash today...emotionally.  Doesn't a cry do a girl good?!  It relieves all the pressure; it truly has a calming effect.

But I know a good cry's calming nature doesn't last.  The pressure rises with the next scream from Aidan, the next bite from Leo...what am I going to do?  How am I going to handle my emotions?  My frustrations?  I am so thankful for a GOD in whom I can trust and cast all my cares, knowing that He loves me and my boys.

Peace and patience amidst these little and big frustrations is found in God alone - as I cling to the promises found in His Word.  The cry felt good for a moment, but the peace from the LORD is lasting and so wonderful.

Here's what I've been trusting today:
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  James 1:13

"In God's Place, At God's Pace, By Future Grace"
A chapter heading in John Piper's Future Grace

Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord...
As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience,
take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Behold, we count those blessed who endured.
You have heard of the endurance of Job
and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings,
that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
James 5:7-11 (condensed by Piper in Future Grace)

And in the midst of a whiny, clingy child and a wild, chewing puppy who is taking all the toys from my whiny, clingy child:
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Psalm 131:2
P.S. Tomorrow I'm driving 2 hours for a pumpkin spice latte.  Can't wait.  Starbucks, I love you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gospel Tilted World

I Timothy 3:15 states that the purpose of the church is to be "the pillar and support of the truth."   Unfortunately, that is usually  not on the top of the  church-goer's list when choosing a home church.  Kids' programs, bible studies, contemporary music with worship bands, coffee cafes, etc. usually top the list.  Why?

And why do so many churches look so different than the early churches?  Are we, as churches, succumbing to what the world wants the Church to look like?

Kregal Publications sent me The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips to review.  In the introduction, Dan quotes Acts 17: 6-7 in regards to how the early church turned the world upside down:
These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.

The early churches didn't have fancy buildings, technology, youth group, money, coffee cafes, worship bands or Twitter and yet they turned the world upside down.   Think about our churches today - we have all of those things and, yet, we are not turning the world upside down.  

The author's main premise is that the world is tilting our churches; churches are offering more and more programs to draw people in and yet the gospel they preach isn't changing lives.  Today's gospel that is preached in too many churches isn't tilting the's not the true gospel.

"...too many people who regard themselves as Christians are utterly clueless about the most fundamental truths...The world tilts them because of various barriers erected in their minds through exposure to bad teaching.  A variety of false doctrines hold them back from enjoying the life to which God calls them in Jesus Christ.  They bank on bad teaching, they're burdened by bad teaching, and they're bound by bad teaching," (pgs. 17-18).

  Thus far, this is a book I'd recommend and would like to get into the hands of every member of our church!  Please look for my complete blog review of it the week of October 3.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dear Twitter

Dear Twitter,
I'm back.  

You can follow me at samanthajlund.

Today I've been tweeting Martin Luther quotes from Elyse Fitzpatrick's Give Them Grace.  Unfortunately, Twitter told me that I'd need to "be more clever" because my tweets were too long.   Martin Luther was clever enough to have one short quote, but I'll post the long one I liked here:
Faith is the complete fulfilling of the law, and will fill those who believe with such righteousness that they will need nothing else for justification.
 Blogger thinks I'm creative enough for long quotes.

If you haven't grabbed a copy of Give Them Grace yet, and you are a parent, I'd highly recommend it.

The White Horse Inn (yay Westminster Seminary California - oh, how I heart you!) tweeted an interview with Dr. Michael Horton titled, "What principles should Christian parents consider when deciding how to educate their children?"



My boys are buddies.
Leo is totally Aidan's sidekick.
 Unless one is napping or too wild (aka Leo), they are side-by-side.
 Aidan has grown so fond of Leo that each morning, as I lift him from his crib, he immediately looks around the room to find Leo...and then giggles when he sees him.
 I love looking in the backseat and seeing this view.  My family feels complete!
 On Labor Day, we took Leo on his very first leashed walk.  It was super fun, but very short!  Aidan didn't want to be in his stroller and Leo wasn't up for walking...just sniffing at a snail's pace.

Why is it so impossible to get everyone looking at the same time?

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Mover and a Shaker

Big news in Iowa...there's a mover and a shaker in our household.  On August 17, Aidan took three steps and now he's a true walker.  It makes us, as first-time parents, just giddy with excitement to see our little man move.  Love it.
 I'm getting ready to come, Mom!
 Ok, I let go of the wall!
Oops...I didn't make it very far!
And then a week later...
 Gearing up...
 And he's off!
 It takes so much concentration.

 Steady on...

 Almost to you, Mom!
 And, yay, I made it!
 Now I'm ready to go again...back the other way!  Get outta my way, please, Mom!
 This is the look Mommy receives when I fall and I'm not so sure about getting back up right away.

Congratulations, Aidan, on your walking!  We are so proud of you and love you tons and tons.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Yay Uncle Andy & Auntie Callie!

Uncle Andy & Auntie Callie bought a house at 747 Winslow!  We are so happy and excited for them as they prepare for this new chapter in their lives.  Not only are they busy preparing for a December wedding, but now they are choosing paint colors and cleaning cleaning cleaning.  Uncle Andy will move in soon and Auntie Callie will follow after the wedding!  They have already invited me up to paint and hang out; I can't wait.  The best part?  They are within three miles of my favorites: Chipotle & Starbucks.  I had a case of the jealousies, but I quickly repented...
 The new homeowners emerge from their new HOME!
 Big A loves to walk in Uncle Andy's yard.
 Best picture I could take - Aidan wasn't interested in me, just the new house!
After looking at their new house, we had supper in St. Paul and pretended we were hot-shots by walking through the St. Paul Hotel.  What a fun evening; thanks Andy & Cal!

On a different note, Aidan wanted to tell Uncle Andy and Auntie Callie how much he loves the cup he received from them in honor of his baptism:
This is Mommy's China hutch, and it's also where she keeps my special cup.
 When Mommy's not looking, I walk right up to it and open the door.
 I pull out my special cup and never touch anything else...
 Then I take a sip...
 And another one just to make sure I've gotten every last drop; I even tip my head back.
 Then I carefully (or not so carefully) put it back....
 And shut the door.   Then I repeat the process over and over until Mommy comes.
Mommy reprimands me and then I cry, but Leo never gets upset with me.  He just watches me quietly the whole time.  Sometimes I even offer him a drink from my special cup.
I love you, Auntie Callie and Uncle Andy.  Thanks for the wonderful gift!