Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day!

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences.

And so in celebration of Reformation Day, here are two of my favorite Martin Luther quotes:

"So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!"
- Martin Luther

"Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason and not by Popes and councils who have so often contradicted themselves, my conscience is captive to the word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I cannot and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me."
- Martin Luther

And if you haven't seen "Luther: The Movie", I must take this moment and highly recommend it (it's rated PG-13 for some violence). Here's the trailer:

God bless your week!

In Christ Alone,


Monday, October 27, 2008

Reformation Day 2008

"Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; The voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!” The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, And the LORD sits as King forever. The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace." - Psalm 29

Well, Reformation Day Faire 2008 is officially over.

What a wonderful two days it was! A spirit of joy pervaded the air and smiles lit up so many faces! The Lord was gracious in giving us beautiful sunny weather on Saturday and a massive amount of attendees- most of whom came in costume! (You can only imagine how happy that made us. *grin*)

The day consisted of soooo much! Here's a few examples: Food, Fellowship, Singing, Dancing, Boffer Wars, Caber Tossing, Stone throwing, singing from Nathan Clark George, two talks about John Knox by my Father (in one I was able to do a short skit as Mary Queen of Scots!), music, more feasting, booths (where amazing crafts were done!), photograhs, and more! What an exciting celebration I found Reformation Day 2008 to be!

A special thanks to everyone who made this event possible...especially my Father (who spent many nights staying up late working on getting everything prepared!) and Mrs. Bandy (and family) for making so much food that we might enjoy and for sacrificing so much of their time so that others might be blessed! And to everyone else (there are so many to name!) for your sacrifice and for the love you put into this event! God bless each of you!

I pray that others may join us next year for Reformation Day Faire 2009! See you (hopefully) there!

In Christ Alone,


Here are various photos of the event. If you know of some blogs that have more photos please let me know and I'll put a link up!

Reformation Day 2008

Here are some photos that friends took:

The Sanford Family (part 1)

The Sanford Family (part 2)

The Candler Family

The Creath Family

The Yen Family Blog

The Ryken Family Blog

Emil Bandy's Blog

The Riggenbach Family

The Serven Family

Hopefully more are coming! :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Whew! I can't believe I'm already 18. 'Tis quite scary, really.

Well, the year is 2008. I turned 18. You know what that means, don't you? :-)


Yes, yes, you heard that right.
I'm a big girl now! :-)

And I even got a nifty little sticker that says...


On a more serious note, I'm still trying to take in the fact that I am actually another year older. Life brings with it many, many changes; and let me tell you, I've had plenty of those. Some of those changes have been good; and some have been trials so difficult that without my Savior I never would've been able to endure them. But through it all, God has remained steadfast in His love and He has never failed me.

I am determined that in this new year of my life I will strive once more to be more like Jesus. To walk in His footsteps. Sometimes it seems so impossible and, so very often, I stumble and I wander, but God is full of mercy and love and holds tightly to me, even when I can't feel Him there.

God has blessed me so much more than I could ever deserve! I thank Him for blessing me with a wonderful family, for giving me so many like-minded friends, and for saving me from my sinful self and for filling my heart with His love! He opened my blinded eyes that I might see Him and He is molding me and shaping me more each day, each year, and each moment. He is reminding me of my sinfulness, and showing me how much I need Him. What would I be without my precious Jesus, the lover of my soul? I would be nothing, and I would be living a life of emptiness and futility. Through Him, I can truly live. And that is what I will strive to do in this new year of my life...I will strive to truly live...through Jesus.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Christa!

I have the most wonderful sisters in the world. Have I mentioned that before? :-) And today is the birthday of one of those wonderful sisters.

And that sister is Christa Marie (McDonald) Blanchard. She turns 24!!

We've shared a lot together, from arguments to agreements, from laughter to tears, from talking to dancing to music and bike riding!
I have so many memories that bring tears to my eyes...and though I miss her terribly I am so glad that she has a wonderful husband and beautiful baby now! :-)

Thank you for being such a blessing to me, Christa...and for being a true sister to me. I love you.




Christa and Tiffany on Resurrection Sunday in 2001 or so.

Christa and Mom at Old Sturbridge Village!

Tiffany, Christa, Melissa and I at the hotel we stayed at for a month in Peoria
when we first moved up to Illinois.

Dad and Christa the evening before the wedding of Daniel and Christa!

The Rehearsal. :-)
(Everyone thought it would be funny to do it "Fiddler on the Roof" style. *grin*)

The Wedding Day!
Daniel and Christa Blanchard!

Christa, William and Daniel when we visited Texas a few months after their marriage!

Christa, Joshua and I!
(the day after Joshua's birth!!)

Myself, Melissa, Tiffany, Christa and Joshua on Independence Day of this year!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Catherine Holt: What day are you on?
Caleb Holt: 43.
Catherine Holt: But there are only 40 days...
Caleb Holt: That doesn't mean I have to stop.

Wow! I'm at a loss for words…no, really. *grin*

*dramatic deep breath*

I saw "Fireproof" last night and I was completely astonished by how powerful the message was!

I admit, I had a few qualms at first. I loved "Facing the Giants," but was not impressed with "Flywheel;" and I thought this film might be too similar for my taste. But, boy, was I (pleasantly) surprised! :-)

Now, I realize “Fireproof” is not as well made as some of the movies coming out these days, and I am fully aware that it didn't take millions of dollars, with Academy Award winning actors, to produce; but, the depth of emotion, the "realness" of the characters, and the beauty of "true love” in "Fireproof", tugged at my heart, and I found myself in tears on numerous occasions (just ask Melinda :-)).

It was beautiful. The story, the music, the message, the agonizingly poignant (and as equally wonderful) was all superb! I can't praise this film enough! (Can you tell?) All I can say is that "Fireproof" was the most phenomenal film that I have seen this year. Bar none.

Here is a review that Mrs. Chancey wrote for the film (HERE is the link):

"My husband and I were able to attend a special pre-screening of this film over the summer. The strong pro-marriage message was excellent, as was the clear presentation of the gospel. This film represents a huge step forward for Christian filmmakers. It was made by the same church that produced "Facing the Giants" and uses very little "professional" acting talent, yet the acting is well done, and there are many wonderful laughs.

Kirk Cameron is fantastic as the husband struggling to love his wife and avoid divorce, urged on by his parents, who also nearly lost their own marriage years before. Supporting actors pull their own weight, and superb editing keeps the film moving along and audiences glued to the screen. The message of this film is so important that we'd urge churches to book theaters and take hundreds of people to see it.

While this film wasn't created for children (it contains subject matter that is geared toward adults), it is appropriate for older children (I'd say 15 and up). There is no language and no inappropriate content to worry about. The laughs are clean (and really funny!). The producer who came to our local screening also revealed a neat inside story: when the husband and wife embrace and kiss near the end of the film, it is Kirk Cameron's real-life wife who stands in at that point. When this movie claims to promote and protect the marriage covenant, the producers really mean it, even for the actors involved! We're delighted to be able to promote a film that has worked so hard to declare the beauty and purity of marriage before a watching world."

Really and truly this was an amazing film and I not only encourage, but I insist that you go see "Fireproof"! :-)

Have a blessed week!

In Christ Alone,

Jessica Nicole

P.S. Note to parents: The topic of the husband’s problem with pornography is handled discreetly and sends a powerful message to those who may struggle with temptation in this area. Purity matters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tagged again!!

Emil tagged me!!! (Thank you, Emil!) I'm supposed name six things that I've learned in the last month and then tag six people! *dances* Here goes:

1. How to dance Swedish-style! (Thank you, Anna!)

2. What RSS Feed is (thanks, Justin!).

3. That the Bannister at Church IS made for sliding down. :-D

4. How to sing the "What's that? A Hat" song...roflol...thanks to Lenna, Melinda and Sierra. Thanks, girls! :-D (I'm officially scarred for life! lol)

5. That apparently my Mother knows someone who got his head cut off in an elevator. *cough* :-D

6. That 4 girls walking down the road (to the library) with one guy in an Army uniform, is bound to draw SOME kind of attention. Well, nobody bothers you, anyway. :-D

I tag:

Jasmine B.
Laura B.
Ben H.
Thomas H.
Robert M.

May the Lord bless y'all, and have a wonderful week!

In Christ Alone,

Jessica Nicole

P.S. A post coming soon about the Elders/Deacons meeting at our Church! :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


There is a giveaway at Practical Purity! Check it out HERE!

In order to enter the drawing, here are the rules...

1. Please get permission from your parents before you enter this free drawing.

2. You must be a resident of the US or of Canada, (and you must have an address, no PO boxes).

3. Post the rules of the giveaway and link to this post on your blog. (If you do not have a blog please tell at least one person OUTSIDE of your family)

4. Leave me a comment telling me that you'd like to enter.

The drawing will end on October 31st at midnight. Please remember to visit when it ends to find out if you've won.

But you know what is the best thing about this giveaway? THERE WILL BE FIVE WINNERS!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Some events of the month (so far):

1. The Ryken's moved into their new home! We were able to go help them move in...though really we just kept the working people company I guess, lol, as there were so many young men there helping and the young ladies weren't all needed! :-) Congratulations on y'all's new home, Rykens!!! I'm so happy for y''s beautiful!!

2. We visited the Erber family and Mom spoke at a Ladies' tea while we were there! We had a splendid time with the Erbers, who opened their beautiful home to us! Thank you so much, y'all! We can't wait to get together again!!

3. We moved into our new Church building (Morton United Methodist)! We're all very excited about that! It's such a blessing to be meeting in a "real" Church building now!!

4. Life Chain Sunday was last Sunday! What a blessing to be able to stand up for what we believe in with no fear! America is the land of the FREE (the home of the brave!)! :-)

So here is a slideshow of the photos from each event that I've uploaded on my web album. I'm sorry that I can't upload them on my blog as I've exceeded my picture upload quota. :-P Hope y'all enjoy them!

May the Lord bless your week!

In Christ Alone,


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tagged! :-)

Another tag!!*dances* (I just love these things!) Thank you, Jasmine and Elissa both for tagging me! :-)

Here are the rules:

-Link to the person who tagged you.
-Post the rules on your blog.
-Write six random things about yourself.
-Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
-Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
-Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here we go:

Six Random Things About Me
- I tend to be a very impulsive person. I love to do things at the last minute! :-)
Actually I'm not so sure if I love to things at the last minute, or if I just think of them at the last minute and I like to do whatever I just thought of right away. :-D (if that made an ounce of sense. lol.)

- Nearly all of my summer clothes are either blue or white.
Funny. Those are my two favorite colors. :)

- William Shakespeare was the first person to use my name in his play, "The Merchant of Venice"!

- I hate crossing bridges that go across a body of water.
I'm always frightened that the bridge will give way and we'll go plummeting into the watery depths.
(I'm not overly fond of deep water.)

- I have never kissed a frog. There. I've said it.
(I'm convinced that even if he did turn into a prince I would be rather grossed out by marrying a former frog.)

- I love to dance and sing all around the house...and sometimes even outside of the house.
It's this wonderful feeling of freedom. Two instruments that you can take with you wherever you go, wherever you are.
Your voice and your feet. *bliss*

Everyone who commented on my last post is tagged (if y'all would like to do it anyway.)! :-) And if you don't have a blog, just leave your tag in a comment!

I'll have a post of our visit to the Erber's house (where we had a marvelous time!) as soon as I get the photos downloaded! Oh, and I will also be posting photos of Life Chain Sunday and of our first Sunday in the new Church building!! :-)
God bless y'all's week!

In Christ Alone,

Jessica Nicole

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Today we celebrate the 6th birthday of Emma Katherine! I can't believe she's already 6! Yikes! :-)
How blessed we are to have Em in our family! She never ceases to bring laughs and smiles and is so full of life and fun!
Her newest "thing" is "tap" dancing with William all around the house. :-D When she's not doing that she is "watching" William and/or entertaining him, helping around the house (she's very good at folding towels!), helping Caleb with the chickens or just being Emma. :-)

Emma sporting her adorable grin! :-D

I love this "artsy"! :-)
Garrison gets the credit for this one!

Some facts about Emma:

- She was the first "home birth baby" in the McDonald family!
- She loves to play "Cowboys" more than anything and loves wearing her cowboy boots!
- If she's not wearing her cowboy boots she's wearing her flip flops. As she's dearly attached to them. :-D
- She's the youngest girl in the family!
- She wants a pet lamb. :-)

Emma Kate is truly a joy to our family! I thank the Lord for seeing fit to bless my family with darling little sister! :-)

Emma and William being their usual goofy selves. :-)

Emma was wearing her PJ's and wanted to dance with William.
But William refused to dance with Emma unless she put a skirt on. :-D It was so cute! :-D

Emma in Texas several years ago.

William kisses Emma amongst the flowers. :-)

Happy 6th Birthday, Emma Kate! I love you!