Wednesday, July 23, 2008

God's Goodness today in WA

BEFORE

Today, we went to Mt. St. Helens. God totally answered prayer there. As we were driving up the mountain, it was totally cloudy. And since we were on the mountain, the clouds were actually all around us...we were one with the clouds :) We went up to the Johnston Observation Deck...still totally in the clouds. We watched the little movie they have in their little theater...still cloudy. Then we went outside...a little blue sky. We waited around...same little blue sky. Then we drove about a half mile down the mountain and stopped at an observation place and there was the mountain in all its glory...the clouds lifted. So we took pics and by the time we left, the cloud was descending again. God is good!! Then we started on our way to the coast. It was this pretty road along the Columbia River. We got to really appreciate God's creation. The bridge from Washington to Oregon across the Columbia River was great and like a mile long. So much fun to drive over. Then we headed down the Oregon Coast which is amazing. God is sooooooo AWESOME!!!!!! So pretty and breath-taking. Now we are in Tukwilla, where they make the cheese. Ymmmm!!! And it smells sooooooo much like cows. It's great. We are going to try to make it to San Fran by tomorrow night. We'll see how it goes....

AFTER

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seattle

So we've been in Seattle for the last few days. We got here Saturday afternoon. We've had a pretty good time. We went to church with my aunt and her family in the morning. It was really nice to see all of the friends that I have up here. Julie was amazed at how many people actually knew me already. haha It was really good to see them. Then on Sunday night, we went to Mars Hill. It took us an hour and a half to find it. We got so lost...wandering back and forth on the same street. It was pretty bad. But once we actually got there, Wow was that good! I know a lot of people don't like Mark Driscoll and some of the things he does/says, but he preached one good sermon on Sunday night about prayer. I was convicted, encouraged and highly motivated to work on my prayer life again. I encourage you to go on over to Mars Hill and download the sermon (it is the first in the Pray Like Jesus series).


Then Monday we went to downtown Seattle. We drove downtown and found a place to park. Then we walked 30 min to the Space Needle. We were going to go up to the top, but it costs a whole stinkin $16!!! So we decided to just take pics from the bottom and move on to Pikes Market. Which I LOVE!!!! So we walked a whole lot and walked down that famous downhill block that you see in Sleepless in Seattle and enjoyed walking around the flower market and watching the guys throw the fish at the fish counter. Sooooo fun!!! Then we went down to the waterfront and had some amazing clam chowder. soooooo goooooooood!!!! And then we went to the Ballard locks that let boats between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington. I love going there cuz you get to see all the boats and stuff and then they also have a fish ladder that helps the salmon swim from the ocean to the lake to lay their eggs. Sooo fun--and they have pretty gardens there too. We went to Alkai beach that night with our fam to watch the sunset And you can see the beautiful Seattle skyline.

Yesterday we just hung out. In the morning we went and saw WallE with our cousins. Cute movie! Then we went to hang out with my friend Mandy. We ended up at Snoqualmie Falls, which is this beautiful huge waterfall. Unfortunately, we didn't know we were going there, so we didn't bring cameras so all we have are cell phone pics. kinda sad, but if you want to see, let me know and I'll text it to you!! Then we hung out with some of the ladies from my aunt's church. They are great! I love those ladies...that's one reason I keep going up there. Mandy is moving in a few weeks so we had a good-bye party for her.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pics of Days 1, 2 and 3

videoThis is how we start our day after we pray every morning...I hope it works ok.








This was the scenery when we got out of LA. Pretty boring!!! And brown....










I don't know if you can see the sing well, but it says that Sacramento and San Francisco are a mile apart...haha
















We saw lots of tomato trucks....and lots of dead tomatoes on the side of the road. so sad!















A pretty bridge over the Sacramento River in Sac.










The California capital building.


















Pretty fields










The sunflower farms....aren't they great??? There were a ton of them with thousands of sunflowers. I was way excited about that!














Some random turn off...i think we were still in CA, but I'm not sure.











The poor butterfly I killed... :(














Yeah, I paid that much for gas...we were getting desperate.













I just thought this was sooo pretty. I really like OR. There were a whole bunch of these valleys that we went through.











Trees on the way up to the Oregon Caves. The pic is sideways...no they don't grow like that.













Pretty green pictures for Wendy :)













Classic Baldwin vacation. Road work all over the place. It seems the government have decided to remodel the whole 5 freeway. We get to enjoy it all. haha

The Road Trip

We are having a fabulous time on our road trip. Talk about bonding time. It's been great! Let me tell you what we've done so far.

DAY 1

We mostly just drove....and drove........and drove. We made it from Anaheim (we had to start from the chiropractor's office) to Sacramento. We started out at about 10:30 and ended at about 5 pm but we didn't actually get to the hotel until about 6.... Why? Because, yes, we got lost. haha They were doing amazing road work on the I-5 freeway through downtown Sac. They closed the freeway going south totally. But we couldn't go where we were supposed to go. So we wandered around downtown Sac and then out down the levee of the Sacramento River (which is really pretty!!) for an hour or more. But we finally found it...and it was nice!

DAY 2

We drove a lot more. We wanted to stop and look at the state capital building, but we couldn't find anywhere to park that was longer than 30 min parking. So we drove around and around on one-way streets and then decided to head out of town. So up the I-5 we went until we got to Grants Pass, OR. It was a very beautiful town tucked in the hills of Oregon. We got lost finding the hotel that day too. We ended up going back on the 5 south on accident. Pretty funny. We found it eventually and got settled. We walked to Burger King for dinner....what a different experience than anything in So Cal. haha

DAY 3

We went to the Oregon Caves first thing in the morning. It was a long winding road up into the hills...therefore, we gave Grace and Julie Dramamine. It was a great tour. Very pretty. Sadly, my sisters did not choose to take their cameras into the caves so we have no pictures. Oh well. Then down the hill we went to pick our stuff up from the hotel and head out of town. Well not too far out of town, the Dramamine set in. Julie was totally out. Grace hung on for a long time until I told her to just go to sleep. She did....I wish I could get the pic of her off my phone cuz she was totally out. Too funny! Then we got stuck in the traffic from this wreck that was on the freeway and sat still or mostly still for an hour. That's when I decided that there was no way we were going to make it all the way to Kent, WA and our aunt's house there that night. So we stopped in Albany and got a hotel. That's where I am now..... We are going down to breakfast and then heading out of town once more. :)

I'll post pics next... :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pray for What????


As I have been doing my devotions, I have been going through Luke. The last few days, I have been pondering Luke 11:5-13. When reading through the Scripture, I usually focus on the fact that if we ask, it will be given to us. If we seek, we will find. This is true and has been proven in my life many times. However, this time verse 13 really struck me. It says,

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:13

In the past, what goes through my mind is, "If my parents know how to give me good things, then God knows how to give me even better things." True. But what does this verse say He gives those who ask Him? The Holy Spirit. Hmmm.. I'd never thought of that before. I thought about it for 2 days, trying to refocus my thoughts. You mean God doesn't just eventually give us what we ask for here on earth? The new house. The new job. The new car. The new relationship. That is not what He gives us??? No, it's the Holy Spirit. That is what He gives us when we ask for it. Why the Holy Spirit? Not that He isn't a good thing to ask for. But it's not my idea of getting what I need. Matthew Henry's commentary touches on this verse...

The direction he gives us what to pray for. We must ask for the Holy Spirit, not only a necessary in order to our praying well, but as inclusive of all the good things we are to pray for; we need no more to make us happy, for the Spirit is the worker of spiritual life, and the earnest of eternal life. Note, The gift of the Holy Ghost is a gift we are every one of us concerned earnestly and constantly to pray for.

He is what should make us happy. It is not the job, house, baby, or husband that would make us happy. It is not the car, financial security or big flat-screen TV that will make us happy. It is not even serving in a certain place or teaching Sunday School at church that makes us ultimately happy. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is all we need. He is our guarantee of eternal happiness--heaven. What more could we ask for? What better thing can our Heavenly Father give us?


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Keep Faith and Wait Quietly

I thought this was pertinent to my situation and such a good reminder. I would be grateful to be even a part of the godly woman Elisabeth Elliot is.

Wait Quietly
Few of us enjoy having to wait for something we want. It is human nature to desire instant gratification, and it is divine nature to do many things very, very slowly. Growth is always imperceptible. But the farmer exercises long patience in waiting for his crop. He has done his work and is assured of the result, hence he waits quietly. He is at rest because the outcome (barring disastrous "acts of God") is certain. If we could simply remember that this is true of everything--that God's purposes are slowly being worked out for his glory and our good--we would, like the farmer, keep faith and wait quietly.

Lord, take from us all fretting and hurrying and teach us to rest our hearts in the "ultimate certainty" (Jas 5:7 JBP).

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture Reference: James 5:7

Monday, July 7, 2008

Timing

Timing is everything. I had such high hopes of everything I was going to get done during this summer. However, that is not happening. But that's ok. I'm helping family with some major things that are going on. My aunt's mother-in-law got in a car accident last Tuesday. So I've been going to the hospital and her apartment and the rehab facility and all that fun stuff for the last week. And then we are going on our road trip in a week too. So my summer is not going as planned at all, but it's what the Lord had for me, right?

And we are going to the recording studio next Monday. We've already been in once and it was a blast...but a ton of hard work. I totally understand what artists are so against ripping CDs now. It's hours of hard work. But so cool... Oh, did I write about us making a CD? Maybe not... Grace, Julie and I are recording a CD. Mainly for our father's enjoyment, but more and more people are getting caught up in the excitement. So we may end up selling it to many many people. That could be lots of fun. And it is totally a dream come true for me. It's something that I've always wanted to do. We shall see how things work out.