Monday, February 25, 2013

More than a man...

When I started this blog, my desire was to be a witness to God's constant goodness and faithfulness.  I'm a big sinner. I'm thankful for the daily grace I get: undeserving grace.  It's hard remembering that I receive grace daily too.

So, who is God and what's the point of knowing his character?

"Well, you know, nowhere in the bible does it say that Jesus is actually God."

A lady recently said this to me after I asked her about Jesus.  I know she had different beliefs (and a different bible translation), but it was still discouraging to hear.

Something that radiates from and defines my understanding and joy of God is the person (and the deity) of Christ.  I think to know Jesus is to know God himself.  I understand that many people don't think Jesus was all that important or even believe in God.  The Trinity is always a hard concept to understand too, but I really wanted to share some spots in the bible that show the person of Christ.  (If you don't hold the belief that Jesus is God, I hope that you would read more about it and joyfully see more of God's infinitely, perfect character.)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  
John 1:1, 14 
Jesus is God in the flesh.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:56-59 
Jesus, being divine, could say that he existed before Abraham, for an eternity ('I am'). The Jews tried to stone him because he said he was God.  They considered this to be blasphemous.  

Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death. John 8:51
Keeping the Word would mean believing and trusting that he and the Father were one

I and the Father are one.  Know that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. Again they sought to arrest him… 
John 10:30
The Jews started to pick up rocks to start stoning him again because he was a man who said he was God.

And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.  
John 17:2-5
In Isaiah 42:8 and Isaiah 48:11, God declares that he would share his glory with no one.  It would only make sense and be acceptable if he were “sharing” the glory with himself (Jesus).

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
Whose blood was shed in redeeming us? Jesus Christ’s blood. God purchased the church with his own blood. He means that he and Christ are of the same “person”.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:3-4

Christ lives and is at the right hand of God.  He was able to defeat death when he rose again.  I believe God alone defeats death and Christ could defeat death because he was God.   

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  1 Peter 2:24-25

I can rest in my redemption because it was a gift; nothing I do (or don’t do) will justify my redemption.  Romans 3:23-26 reminds me that I fall short of the glory of God. In Christ’s death and resurrection, in his divine forbearance, he passed over my former sins. 
I can rest in who Jesus said he was, because Jesus said he was God.  If God is for us, who can be against us?

(Mini) Mug Shot

Meet Kelly, also known as Mrs. Houtz.
I met this lovely lady about a hear ago when I started exploring the blogging world.  This momma of four writes over at The Houtz House Party.  She was an encouragement to me in the way she spurred me on to write about my life as a wife and mommy.  I admire her joyful attitude and the initiative she takes to encourage others and pursue more 'long distance' relationships, amidst a busy life. 

Ok, here is my mugshot!  
This was taken for a "photoshoot" for the weekly #CopyCatCloset linkup over at Ma Nouvelle Mode. I LOVE THIS linkup because it gives me great fashion ideas that I am in DESPERATE need of!

Here are a couple of posts to check out!  :)
Speed Date in a Post and 2012 Year in Review

Be sure to check out Kelly's blog and leave her some love.  It's not too late to join in on the great mug exchange. Check out details here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mug Shot # 3

Meet Emily.

I met this lovely lady in the summer of 2004 at Project Impact: Chicago (Holler!).  She was always a joy to be around and I think I laughed almost every time I was in her presence, aside from those 'serious' conferences we had to learn from, you know.  Her desire to learn and her joyful attitude are admirable and she challenges me to continually be joyful in the Lord, amidst this craziness we call life.


My name is Emily and I live in the wonderful city of Austin, Texas with my rad husband, Daniel. We just celebrated our second anniversary of marriage at a tiny Chinese dive in South Austin. Our two years together have been nothing short of an adventure and I can not wait to see what the next 50+ hold!

I started blogging back in 2002, off of a friend's website called, Somewhere Quiet. I immediately fell in love with this new way to connect with people, and since then, have had many blogs and forms of social media. Perhaps my most favorite was Plastic Cupcake. (This one still exists!)  I often think about switching back to his one, but a few years back, right before saying, "I do," I created one to focus more on my life as a new wife. It's called, "Life as a Rodriguez," and that's where you can find me currently. (Holla!)

When Tygre asked me to participate in the Great Mug Exchange, I was super pumped and knew immediately what story I wanted to tell. Here she is!

I bought this cup very recently, when my husband and I visited Walt Disney World with my family last fall. We bought it in the Japan Pavilion in Epcot Center. Japan is a country I had never thought much of until meeting Daniel. He loves this country, the people, the art, music, anime---you name it. And by getting to know him when we were just friends, I came to love this place too. Japan was definitely our favorite 'country' to visit in Epcot. We ate sushi, tried a few types of sake, toured some gorgeous art, and just took in the serene beauty and wonder it had to offer. We also got to see a few music shows with drums and traditional dancing---just awesome. We would love to visit actual Japan someday, but until then--this was an awesome experience and every time I use my mug, I think about this memory. 

This mug is the BEST. Really. So much, that I wished I would have purchased more. I use it for tea, cocoa, oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream...anything. The shape of it, is not like a traditional coffee cup and it suits me very well. I did, however, find a very similar, almost identical cup, from Starbucks. And I'd love to give one away to YOU! (Tygre will let you know the deets.)

I'd love for you to visit me on my blog sometime. We can hang out and you can read about my insane letter to Jen Hatmaker, how I came up with a way to spend $50 on groceries a week, or about that one time we listened to a time share presentation to win a cruise to Cozumel. And then when we got there the ship broke down. Yep. 

Anyway, big thanks to my buddie Tygre for letting me share some of my story. I look forward to seeing all the rest of them, and sharing a Starbucks mug!

Thanks for reading!!


Thanks Emily for sharing your story! Be sure to check out this pretty lady's blog! Read up on the fun and join.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tod, with one 'd'

I know that God may not have some people marry, but I'm very grateful that He had a plan for me and Tod.

I met Tod in the summer of 2004 and some of the first things I remember him saying was, "My name is Tod with one 'd.' If it's good enough for God, then it's good enough for Tod."

I remember thinking, "He's cute, but really?! Who does this kid think he is?"  I knew that he wanted to learn more about the bible and pursue godly friendships, but you don't just compare yourself to God like that, big sinner.  Thankfully, later that summer, I got to know him and his humor a lot more. 

::Enter cheese fest::

I'm a sucker for a sweet note or cheap gift.  Tod could bring me home a rock and tell me that he thought of me or a fun memory when he saw it, and my little heart would go pitter-patter.  As a gal, I want affirmation that I'm loved and thought of during the day.  Chocolates or flowers are a bonus.

In the discipleship program that Tod and I attended together, we were encouraged to write notes of encouragement to the other participants throughout the week.  Yes, Tod wrote me a note. Yes, I still have it. And yes, I may or may not still carry it around in my wallet...

Check out this 'love' note...

Love note?

I'd like to add that that summer we were in Chicago together, we were not allowed to date.  They wanted everyone to focus on our jobs and studies that summer, which is perfectly valid.  We even made bright pink shirts that summer that said, "pro (project) chick. less sleep. more work. less dating, more inductive"

How can a gal receive a note like this and not want to date the dude that wrote it?  Yeah, she can't.  God sure did have "wonderful and mighty plans" for my life. And Tod does make me coffee and hot chocolate any time ;)

I'm so grateful for the forgiveness and love that Tod shows me daily. Sure, we hurt each other's feelings or have rough days, but we strive to make things right.

...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

If our goal in life is to become more Christ-like, then our aim should be to love and serve others.  Marriage and my valentine will continue to teach me love and push me to love others more. 

Valentine's date at Ikea? Yes, please.

A note from our first year of 'becoming one'

Crazy hubs.
Love collage with another valentine o' mine.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mug Shot #2

Meet Christy.   
I met Christy my sophomore year of college; she and her husband (who was 'courting' her at the time) were involved in the same campus ministry at OU.  (It was fun seeing Christy all googly-eyed with Paul when they went out on their first date!)  I remember one year, she and I were partnered to teach the girls in our leadership team about evangelism and sharing our faith in Christ with others.  I was challenged by her desire to share her love with people and I've been encouraged watching her learn and grow in mommy-hood, along with me.  Here's her story!

A big, white, frilly mug. This is a mug from my china set. When I was 13 I got a hope chest as a gift from my parents. A place to save things in hope of having a family one day. I picked out this beautiful Lenox china set and slowly got pieces for birthdays, graduation and Christmas. A hope chest is old fashion but I love what it symbolizes. I wanted to wait for the man God had for me to marry. I was excited and didn't know what my future would hold. It was hard at times to trust God or not slip down the wrong path. As I sit here holding this mug I am reminded of Gods plan for my life. I have now been married to Paul for 5 years (Tygre and I have the same anniversary!). A man that not only has the non-negotiable things I wanted in a husband but even has the silly little things that weren't that important. It is amazing that plans I imagined up for my life weren't nearly as good as the plans God had for me if I would follow Him. It was totally worth the wait and I am so grateful. We now have the sweetest little 1 1/2 year old boy named Owen. There are still things that are hard in life, but little things, like this mug, remind me that God is faithful and it's always worth it to go His way. 

Tygre and I met in college and have been friends since. It has been so fun staying connected through our blogs. I started my blog, Always Me With You, almost a year and a half ago. I love sharing snippets of our life through pictures and words and being about to connect with other mommas out there. Two of my favorite blog posts would be our little guys 1st birthday and moments from this past Christmas. Hope you can come say hello! 


Thanks Christy for sharing your fun mug shot with Owen! If you haven't visited Christy's blog, go check it out.  You can see more happenings of their sweet family too.

Want to join in on the great MUG exchange? Check out the rules here.