October 20, 2014

Still Growing

I love the ways God works.

His timing is always prefect.

Kirk's story is one of those ways and I really enjoyed reading about his life so far.

Kirk shares from his early years at home to his introduction to commercials at age 10. He continues to his teen years and his big break playing Mike Seaver on the hit TV show Growing Pains.

I enjoyed some of the inside info on Hollywood and how things work. It was nice to hear there are some great people working there. People like his co-stars which he described as family.

Growing Pains along with shows like Family Ties and The Cosby Show were some of my favorites as a teen. I wish they still made clean family shows like that today.

One secret Kirk reveals about the show, I thought was really fun.

It's about a competition he and Micheal J. Fox, who was staring in the hit show Family Ties at the time, had.

He describes it here:

"Michael and I had this one-upmanship thing: who could incorporate the most 360s in a show. We'd have to walk onto a set and somehow do a complete, 360-degree turnaround. But we had to spin so naturally it was undetectable to our directors. We had to find a reason for our characters to do a 360. And it only counted if it made the final cut of the show.

Since our shows taped on different days of the week, some of the Growing Pains crew worked simultaneously on Family Ties. A cameraman would come to the set on blocking day and say, 'Cameron, Fox did two yesterday.'

'That's nothing,' I'd scoff. 'I can top it.' I had to think of places to sneak them in. It was a fun challenge.

Sometimes the cameraman would go to the other set and say, 'Fox, you're slacking, Cameron did four this week.'

I think four was the record - but I'm not sure who set it. (Now that you know the real competition, look for our masterful 360s in re-runs.)"

Kirk was on the show for it's 7 year run, but something happen during this time that would change his life forever.

He was 17 and a self proclaimed atheist. Then he met a girl and she invited him to church.

He shares the experience here:

"It was a big church. The head honcho was a man named Chuck Swindoll. He had a booming voice and spoke with authority. I listened as he read from the Bible, which I thought was nothing more than a book full of rules designed to suck the fun out of life. This pastor began to share the biblical description of God in terms I had never heard before, in a way that grabbed my attention and dazzled my intellect.

He spoke of God's omnipotence: God is all-powerful. He talked about God's omniscience: He is all-knowing. And he addressed God's holiness: He is morally perfect and, therefore, He alone defines what is good.

I spent a lot of time thinking about those things...

...Dr. Swindoll spoke about heaven and hell, and immediately followed that up with talk of God's mercy and love. He explained that God, in His kindness, provided a way for sinners to be forgiven of their sins, washed clean, changed and made new. He spoke about the value of grace, repentance and faith.

I was blown away. I felt like someone had unloaded a theological dump truck on my head. These were not the words of the irrational, big-haired, crazy loons I had seen on religious television, swindling Social Security money from senior citizens desperate for a miracle. 

Dr. Swindoll wasn't promising health, wealth and prosperity in exchange for a donation to his ministry, but rather freedom from God's wrath and a relationship with the Creator of all things. Swindoll appeared totally sincere in his beliefs and genuinely concerned about the welfare of his hearers.

I left the church with a long list of questions."

Kirk's friends dad then tried to answer his many questions and encouraged him to read Josh McDowell's book, 'More than a Carpenter.' (one of my favorites!)

Then one day he realized he, like everyone else, was going to die one day.

He realized the state of his heart was not right with God and that God had every right to exclude him from heaven.

He says of one night sitting in his car:

"I wanted to pray, but didn't know how. Closing my eyes - hoping no one was watching - I muttered, 'God, if You're there, will You please show me? If You're real, I need to know. And would You please forgive me for the things I've done that are wrong? I don't want to join a religious cult or believe in a fairy tale, but if You're there...I want You to change me into the person You want me to be.'

Tears came to my eyes. Goosebumps formed on my arms. I felt that I was unworthy of talking to God.

When I opened my eyes, I didn't see a vision of Jesus on the wind-shield. The Holy Spirit didn't rush in through the air conditioning vents. Nothing weird. I just sat there thinking that I had just spoken to the Creator of the universe and that He had heard me.

Little did I know that those feeble and honest moments of seeking God in my sports car would forever change my life."

A couple years later Kirk met his wife, Chelsea on the set of his show.

From this point on in the book they both speak and share their story together.

I really loved this.

Kirk is no longer just Kirk, but now united with his wife Chelsea. Their love for each other is very apparent and so refreshing. They also have 6 children!

Kirk says this of marriage:

"Through reading the Bible, I was learning more and more about God's design for marriage. According to divine design, marriage is a covenant, not a contract. A contract can be broken, but a covenant is forever. 

When marriage is just a contract, you will focus on your rights, when it is a covenant, you will focus on your responsibility. 

If you see marriage as a contract, you look for loopholes; when you realize it's a covenant, you learn to stay committed for life. Contracts are written on paper and based on mistrust - which explains why you put it in writing...A covenant, on the other hand, is a verbal promise based entirely on faith and commitment."

I thought that was just so beautiful. : )

He then shares how he meet Ray Comfort and how they started their ministry together and how Ray's bold walk with Christ encouraged him in his walk with the Lord.

At the end of his book, Kirk shares several points on who he is. I'll leave you with the first one which applies to all of us who have received Christ:

"I'm a child of God, a sinner rescued by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. 

As my pastor once said, 

'You don't find God - He's not lost. you are, and He finds you."

Buy it HERE on Amazon

October 17, 2014

Time Away

Friday's Thought:

It's been a little quiet around my blog this past week or so.

My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and instead of going away on our own we decided to take one last family trip before our children (18, 22, 24) all go their separate ways.

We went to Disneyland and had a lot of fun, though the weather was pretty hot! : )

I have to say my favorite thing, besides some of the fun rides, was the Lincoln memorial. We've been to Disneyland before but had never seen it. I highly recommend it, especially if you have children.

It was a great reminder of how one should live with integrity.

I'm reading a history book right now, about medieval kings and queens and how their lives were a mess of adultery, backstabbing, and betrayal. It's made me realize what a prize the world has had in Abraham Lincoln, a simple farm boy from Kentucky. You can read a little more about him in my post on the book: Abraham Lincoln Civil War Stories

I also picked up Walt Disney's biography, 'An American Original' by Bob Thomas, when we were there.

And I'm looking forward to reading about his life and family. : )

September 29, 2014

Nature's Sketchbook

I was cleaning out some of my cupboards the other day and came across this book that I hadn't looked at in years. So I decided to sit down and have a read through.

What a delightful book!

Filled with the art of Marjolein Bastin of Holland, and her insights and experiences from the nature she paints.

I love this kind of art, so full of color and life. So much detail you can look at one painting for hours and enjoy all it has in store for you. : )

I thought I'd share a few paintings and insights Marjolein shares throughout the book.

Strawberries are my favorite summer fruit! Here she paints some in a new basket.

She writes:

"The spiders and beetles loved 
my old basket... it was perfect
For playing hide-and-seek.
To them, 'old is beautiful,'
but I must advert that
as a flower basket,
it had become pretty rickety.

But here is my new one...
and I'll try this time not to leave it
out in the rain!"

Here she writes some interesting facts about these butterflies and violets:

butterfly has made
his life very difficult:
his tiny caterpillars
will not eat anything other than these violets.
And when they are not
there anymore,
the butterfly
will vanish, too."

I love making bouquet's of flowers. It's always fun to create something new each time.

Here she writes about painting this lovely bouquet:

"This beautiful bouquet
inspires me to paint with
such enthusiasm that there
is hardly enough room left for my words!

Just imagine this
in a jam jar on the table...
how opulent!

Bluebells here are protected, so you're not allowed to pick them.
That's way drawing is so nice - I can always sit among
the bluebells with my brushes and enjoy
their natural beauty."

Though this isn't a book of faith, I found God's creation bursts forth on every page. He truly makes beautiful, intricate things for us to enjoy.

Here are a few of her paintings that aren't from this particular book, but as a gardener who loves flowers, I had to share!

I'm not sure if this book is still in print but here is Marjolein's website where you can explore all her gorgeous creations... Marjolein Bastin's Website

September 26, 2014

God is My Rock

Friday's Thought:

Today I thought I'd share one of my favorite verses that the Lord always encourages me with. : )

"He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us."

Psalm 62:6-8 

And that Rock this Psalm talks of, is Christ...

"Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

all ate the same spiritual food,

and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ."

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 

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