Media Cleanse

A couple of weeks back, Shelby, a friend of mine from over at in the thinking tree, asked if I might like to co-host a special event. This event is specifically to work on detoxing our minds and hearts from the un-biblical things we absorb through mainstream (“lamestream”) media, whether it be through television shows, music, books, magazines or other media outlets.

Oftentimes, we (1. become so desensitized to sin that we hardly notice it, or (2. choose to excuse it away. Shelby has an excellent example over on her blog post:

“That would’ve been such a cute movie if it weren’t for…
…and then that scene we had to fast-forward where…
…and there was that other scene…
…and, well, there was that fight with her parents…
…and she wasn’t exactly modest…
…and he was pretty rebellious, wasn’t he?….
…but they were sooo cute together!…
Sound familiar?

This media cleanse is a call to take action and responsibility for what you are choosing to watch, listen to, or read. Our bodies are a temple for the Lord, and as such, He has called us to care for them. Filling our minds with garbage hardly seems like a way to honor and care for the temple.

If you would like to read more details about the media cleanse, stop over at in the thinking tree. Shelby has posted more details, a starting point, a covenant, and many other helpful resources to help you get started.

There is also an event page over on Facebook and Google+. Feel free to join in with either or both of the event pages.

I highly encourage you to join in. I think it is going to be extremely beneficial (and probably quite convicting as well!) for everyone involved. It’s always good to step back and really evaluate where you are spending your time and investing your heart and mind. May we always seek to further God’s kingdom and meditate ever more on His precepts instead of those of the world!

Many blessings, dear friend!
~Courtney

From my heart…

Where is the joy, Lord?

This has been a prayer- a question I have been asking for many, many weeks. I’ve felt so broken. So lost. In some ways, overwhelmed with sadness, grief and despair.

As I’ve been praying over the last several days, the Lord has been sending me encouragement through a variety of ways. He has used my parents, a few trusted friends and a book, “One Thousand Gifts”, to completely change my heart.

He has been showing me that I am not truly thankful for the many ways He has blessed me.

I sat down two evenings ago and finally began to journal our journey since the end of January. I wasn’t expecting to cry through the process, but as I began to write, it’s almost as if the tears that were being shed were tears of healing. Of peace. Of joy- finally. You see, my circumstances could have been so much worse. As it is, I have a wonderful, blessed, mighty Saviour- the Lord ALMIGHTY is His name. I have a family who loves me. I live in a lovely house on property that I adore. I am part of a church family that feels truly more like family then just fellow church members. I am surrounded by friends across the country, both those I have met already and those whom I would like to meet, who have been keeping my family and I in prayer. We have always had food on our table and the lights on, even when money has been tight. I’ve been given the gift of music. The healing that has come from playing my instruments has been invaluable to me. As I have played, picked, and strummed, I could almost feel the joy and peace beginning to build inside. Thank you, Lord.

The Lord is leading me on a new journey. One of thankfulness…of joy. My prayer is for Him to continue to reveal the many things He has blessed me with each and every day, and that I will stop and be *truly* thankful. Count your blessings… name them one by one….

My dearest mama has inspired me to begin my list of blessings. If you recall, I had begun something similar towards the beginning of the year, but in the midst of everything that was happening, I let it slide. I’m planning on beginning again and this time, structuring it a bit differently. =]

I want to encourage you to count your blessings. God has blessed us immensely and continues to do so day after day. It’s up to us to stop and really open our eyes to the joy God has poured into our lives.

Many blessings to you, my dear friend.
~Court

The road ahead…

I remarked to a friend this last week that if I had seen all the things that would happen this year, I would have most likely laughed and thought it was quite the joke. I had asked her about something I was struggling with, and she was incredibly encouraging to me and shared some very specific insight and scriptures. As we continued our discussion, she reminded me that we all go through years of growth. This year has definitely been a year of growing for me. It’s almost as if a page in my life has been flipped and I am a new person, in a new chapter of life that is full of truths to be learned, discoveries to be made and adventures to be had.

I knew God was speaking to my heart, because Mama and I had the chance to discuss it at length a few days ago. As we were discussing it, amongst other things, she told me almost verbatim what my friend had said about this being a year of growth for me. She encouraged me by reminding me that sometimes, growth hurts, but it is often through those “growing pains” that we grow the most as Christians. We learn to lean more heavily upon our heavenly Father and His wonderful, awe-inspiring love and grace. We learn to trust in His promises more and more. We discover that His tender mercies continue to be new each morning, even when all hope is lost. We learn to listen, to really listen, as He whispers His truth into our hearts.

I can’t see what’s around the bend, but I know my precious Savior does. And with that truth in my mind, I pray I am listening attentively to whatever He whispers in my heart, that I am actively seeking to go wherever He leads me to go, and that I am obedient to whatever He calls me to do. <3

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“Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
    Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
    Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
    Standing on the promises of God.

        Refrain:
        Standing, standing,
        Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
        Standing, standing,
        I’m standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
    When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
    By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises I now can see
    Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
    Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
    Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
    Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
    List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call,
    Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
    Standing on the promises of God.”

(Standing on the Promises of God, by Russel K. Carter)

At night

It’s quiet tonight. Most folks are in bed and resting for the upcoming day tomorrow. I can hear the wind softly blowing through the trees and the crickets chirping away in the back yard.

The peace enveloping the house tonight is a blessed one. I am so thankful for the peace and rest God has given to our family over the past several days as we continue to heal.

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”Psalm 16:8-11

Yesterday

I’ve been thinking about this post and what I wanted to say for the last week or so. You see, yesterday would have been my grandmother’s 64th birthday, had she lived to see it.

Having been asked to fill in for our normal church pianist yesterday, I had the opportunity to choose which hymns we would be singing. I knew immediately one of the hymns would be “It Is Well With My Soul”; the hymn we sang at her funeral. It is truly well with her soul now. She is in the presence of the Most High- our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is hard for those of us who are left here on earth. I miss her so much. It was all I could do not to weep all day yesterday, and when we visited her grave, I couldn’t stop. I know she is in a better place. She’s no longer suffering- she is no longer in pain. She is resting in the presence of God. She has, as her name means, been “Born Anew“.

I know God will continue to bring healing to our family as time continues to pass. The Lord is always faithful to His promises. I realize even though I can’t see the whole picture, God can. This year has been an interesting journey, to say the least. There have been quite a few times where I thought I knew exactly where God was leading, and found out His plan and mine were not the same. It has been a humbling process to continue learning to lean on God- to trust Him, even when I don’t understand His plan and purposes. Over the past week or so, Psalm 147:3-7 has been the scripture I have really been thinking and meditating on:

“He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!”

He has promised to heal us and bind our wounds, no matter how great they are or how large the burden is we carry. He knows the names of all the stars, numerous as they are. We serve an awesome and wonderful Lord! I would encourage you today to rest in and on the Lord. Trust Him to lead you where you should go. Seek Him in all you do.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

With love,
~Miss Courtney

New Greeting Cards

I mentioned a few posts ago about working on some long-neglected projects. One of the first things on my list was to update my portfolio over on RedBubble. I am so excited to finally have some new greeting cards up in the shop, with several more in the works to be added soon! =]

If you would like to stop by, you can click the card below:

Have a blessed evening, friend! =]

~Miss Courtney

S’MORES!

A lifelong goal of mine has been to try a s’more. Up until recently, I had never had one. I’ve roasted marshmallows, eaten graham crackers, and of course, savored chocolate, but never in my life had I tried the perfect creation resulting from the combination of all three.

And, my friends, it was PURE bliss!

These pictures are leaving me want to have s’more…. get it? S’more? Some more?? Never mind. =]

Many blessings to you on this beautiful Wednesday.
~Miss Court

Home

Moments of quiet contemplation in the scriptures. Rain dripping down the windows. Children laughing as they play. “In The Mood” playing softly from the next room while a few of my siblings are doing their morning chores. The bowl of freshly picked tomatoes grown right in our yard. The drip-drip-drip of the coffee making it’s way into the coffee pot for my morning Cup o’ Joe. The goofy text message exchange I had with one of my brothers when he made it to work this morning. The clean laundry pile slowly increasing as we work through the ever-growing mountain of dirty laundry. Our cats purring contentedly on the porch while they watch the rain. The way our lake looks when the wind gets particularly gusty. The sweet smell of honeysuckle and gardenias blowing through the breeze. Making progress on home improvement projects that had been put off for a bit. Phone calls being made. Travel plans being finalized for an upcoming trip. Finding my favorite pair of glasses where I had misplaced them. Listening to the dishwasher running to be ready for lunch prep, and of course, more dirty dishes. =] Sweet emails from friends. To-do lists being accomplished. My sister singing to the baby while he smiles adoringly at her. The many books being read and letters being written.

This is my home. I’m so blessed to have been placed in this family. <3

“Reading” a note, or two or three

or four, or more, depending on the complexity of the piece, has been one way I’ve been spending my time over the past few weeks. =D

As we have continued to drift back into our more “normal” schedule, making music has been a way for me to heal lately. To continue to find peace amidst what has been a rather unusual year thus far.

I have discovered a new love: playing ragtime piano! It has been a year or more since I have really spent time learning a new piece. While listening to some ragtime piano last week, I heard the song “The Strenuous Life”, composed by Scott Joplin, and immediately knew I wanted to learn it. As the song is in the public domain, I found the sheet music online for free over at Mutopia and decided to give it a try. I’m slowly working my way through it and am thoroughly enjoying the process. It had been too long!

I’ve played primarily classical pieces since beginning piano several years ago, and to be quite honest, had gotten a little bored with those. I knew it was time to try something new and challenging, so along with the ragtime piece, I purchased some sheet music for the first time in a year and am waiting for it to make it’s way across the country. I can’t wait for it to arrive! =]

Along with the piano, I’ve been back on the ole’ mandolin and violin as well. I was blessed to have someone loan me a book that really helped with some issues I was having on the violin, and was also able to find some resources on how to read mandolin tab, which has been fantastic. I’m hoping to convince Josh to pull out his guitar so that we can have a “jam session” soon. Maybe we will get brave and tape it so that you can see. Maybe. =D

I hope this beautiful rainy Saturday has been a blessed one for you. And, dear friend, how about a fun question for Saturday: How many of you play instruments?

Many blessings to all,
~Miss Courtney