Monday, November 26, 2007


This past Friday we had pictures made for the new church directory--THANK GOODNESS because the last family picture that we had I was very much still coming out of my 'homely' stage. (EW.) My brother Aaron is now married (as of last May) so he did not get to take part in this lovely family affair (lucky thing) as he now lives on Oak Island with his wife, Downey (what a great name!...and yes, she is as country as that sounds!). So we all four packed up Friday afternoon to head to the church for pictures. Yes I said four. Mom, Dad, Me, and Nellie. OUR GREAT DANE. Are you kidding me. This, in a nut shell, explains my dad. I haven't talked much about my parents, but the fact that our great dane just had professional pictures made at the church pretty much sums up his craziness. [And I just need to add that the great dane had more pictures made than I (a HUMAN, and HIS DAUGHTER) did. But that was mostly the photographer's doing so I won't blame that solely on my father--who, by the way, is the minister of music and youth of the church.] ...I told him he should put Nellie's picture beside his staff picture.
So, here are some boring pictures from our time with the awkward photographer. Real post about Thanksgiving later...

The fam...

Mom thinks this one is cheesy...


Nellie Hinton

Can you tell who I look like? :)

Oh, and I forgot to a thank you for my dad helping the picture people (he had to let them in and out of the church and whatnot) the photographer gave my dad an 8X11 re-touched picture.....OF THE GREAT DANE.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Embracing Accusation

Okay, I officially stink at blogging. :) But that's alright...I've accepted it, and I'm moving on...
I have so much I want to write about and normally that means I just wimp out and don't write anything because I am THE most indecisive person on the planet. I've been that way since I was little. I used to apologize to my stuffed animals that didn't sleep with me (because clearly only so many could fit in the bed without suffocating me) and I always had the hardest time deciding which ones would be so privileged to be sweated (word?) and drooled on, and always felt the need to HUG the rejects one more time before hitting the sack. :) What in the world...

Anyways, I was inspired to share my current favorite song ( if there was just one) with you after seeing a commercial for Oprah's Favorite Things show (ps..Julia Roberts is on tomorrow--Monday, that is--for any fans) and just had to share this song because I think I have listened to it every day for like 2 weeks now. It is by Shane Bernard and Shane Everette...also known as Shane&Shane...and it's called Embracing Accusations. The words are amazing, but I would encourage you to go to their myspace page and actually listen to the song (maybe while you read if you'd like) because it is one POWERFUL thing to hear these two AMAZINGLY talented individuals sing together. I'm including the link for their page at the please take advantage of it if you have a few minutes to listen. I'll be back tomorrow or Tuesday to write about what's been going on with life! Love ya'll!!

Embracing Accusation
The Father of lies
Coming to steal kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”

He’s right, hallelujah, he’s right
The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Embracing accusation

Could the father of lies be telling the truth of
God to me tonight?
That if the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”

He’s right, hallelujah, he’s right
The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation

The devil’s singing over me an age-old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently over me
He’s forgotten the refrain.

website link... here

Monday, November 12, 2007


Sorry I haven’t been around much lately!! I have enjoyed catching up on some of your blogs, even though I haven’t been posting much! (Haha..i just typed “poasting” instead of p-o-s-t…probably cause I was thinking about making TOAST…goodness…am I ever NOT hungry?!) Anyways…the Lord has been teaching me a lot in the last week or so, but the one thing that has been shouted (beautifully) in my direction far more times than I can count is the subject of grace. GRACE. The most beautiful word. :)

I just started reading “The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning yesterday, and I don’t think it was just a coincidence that I picked up a book during such a week where this reoccurring subject was etched so closely to the forefront of my mind. Grace, that is. (I just love saying that word.) So I just wanted to share some of my favorite thoughts written in this book by someone much more well-versed than I. Maybe someone else needs to see these today, or maybe this visual-kinesthetic learner just needs to type them out to see them again herself. Regardless, I hope these words bless your day…in whatever way your heart may need. (Sorry this may be long...REALLY LONG...just read as you have time)

“On a blustery October night in a church outside Minneapolis, several hundred believers had gathered for a three-day seminar. I began with a one-hour presentation on the gospel of grace and the reality of salvation. Using Scripture, story, symbolism, and personal experience, I focused on the total sufficiency of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on Calvary. The service ended with a song and a prayer.
Leaving the church by a side door, the pastor turned to his associate and fumed, “Humph, that airhead didn’t say one thing about what we have to do to earn out salvation!”
Something is radically wrong.
The bending of the mind by the powers of this world has twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper. The Christian community resembles a Wall Street exchange of works wherein the elite are honored and the ordinary ignored. Love is stifled, freedom shackled, and self-righteousness fastened. The institutional church has become wounder of the healers rather than a healer of the wounded.
Put bluntly, the American church today accepts grace in theory but denies it in practice. We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works—but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived.

…Though the Scriptures insist on God’s initiative in the work of salvation—that by grace we are saved, that the Tremendous Lover has taken to the chase—our spirituality often starts with self, not God. Personal responsibility has replaced personal response. We talk about acquiring virtue as if it were a skill that can be attained, like good handwriting or a well-grooved golf swing. In the penitential seasons we focus on overcoming our weakness, getting rid of our hang-ups, and reaching Christian maturity…Though lip service is paid to the gospel of grace, many Christians live as if only personal discipline and self-denial will mold the perfect me.

…Our huffing and puffing to impress God, our scrambling for brownie points, our thrashing about trying to fix ourselves while hiding our pettiness and wallowing in guilt are nauseating to God and are a flat denial of the gospel of grace…

…[God] is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us; He loves us. He is the only god man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods—the gods of human manufacturing—despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do…Through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace.

Matthew 9:13 “Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice. And indeed I came to call not the upright, but sinners.”

…[Jesus is] fully aware that His table fellowship with sinners will raise the eyebrows of religious bureaucrats who hold up the robes and insignia of their authority to justify their condemnation of the truth and their rejection of the gospel of grace.

…Jesus says the kingdom of His Father is not a subdivision for the self-righteous nor for those who feel they possess the state secret of salvation. The kingdom is not an exclusive, well-trimmed suburb with snobbish rules about who can live there. No, it is for larger, homelier, less self-conscious caste of people who understand they are sinners because they have experience the yaw and pitch of moral struggle.

…God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am. Because of this I don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him. I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness.

…We have been given God in our souls and Christ in our flesh. We have the power to believe where others deny, to cope where others despair, to love where others hurt…My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.

Ephesians 2:8-9 “Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.”

(quote by Paul Tillich from The Shaking of the Foundations)
“Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life…It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: ‘You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.’ If that happens, to us, we experience grace.”

…Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is enough for you; my power is at its best in weakness. So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me.”

Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white roes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last “trick,” whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school; the deathbed convert who for decades had his cake and ate it, broke every law of God and man, wallowed in lust, and raped the earth.
“But how? we ask.
Then the voice says, “The have washed their robes and made them while in the blood of the Lamb.”
There they are. There we are—the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith.
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace." :)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Breaking the Rules :) Wordless Wednesday early ...WORDLESS MONDAY

(Sorry for the bad quality...I lost my camera cord, so these are pictures, of pictures, taken on my phone and sent to my email...and please forgive the use of words on Wordless Monday.) ;)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Why Does Aunt Flow Have to Bring so Much Food?

If you are one of the 3 or so males that read my blog (hello camp friends...) maybe this isn't the entry for you. So enjoy the day off from reading your sister-in-Christ's insights about life and do yourself a favor by saving us both the embarrassment of knowing that you have read what is about to follow.

I just wanted to share with you blog siestas those things that have completely taken over my body in the last 2 days. It seems my ovaries have an appetite that the rest of me can not control round about this time and frankly all self-control goes out the window. (And we won't even mention the mood swings...let's just say my prayer life seems to pick up during this certain week every month.) After laying in the bed for half the day yesterday trying to perfect the fetal position while my insides ripped out (lovely)...I went for a walk (which helped a little) and then like any PMS'n woman incapable of controlling herself, I headed for the kitchen. I'm sure I'll be looking up Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers in the phone book next week (who am I kidding...that thought will pass before I go to sleep) but frankly I have come to a conclusion. Calories just don't count when Aunt Flow visits. I mean, she always brings way more food than one person can handle, and just has a way of taking any care about the way you look for those 3-7 days (SEVEN...all the way...EVERY TIME...) and throwing it out with the trash. So as I ate my second dinner last night, I turned to my roommate and said, "Calories don't count right now do they?" and felt entirely vindicated and justified when she IMMEDIATELY and ENTHUSIASTICALLY responded with "Oh absolutely not!!" Praise the Lord...I knew He was watching out for me when He brought these girls together.

So anyway...this entry is completely mindless and poorly written...but I just felt like sharing my indulgences from the last two days. What do you guys pig-out on when your aunt comes?

(ps...for copy-right reasons let me just say that I did not take any of these pictures, nor am I taking credit for them. They can all be found by searching Google Images!!)