Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Service

March 29th, 2009 || Posted by Allen Duty

We had our very first worship service last night, and it was an amazing time. I’m so thankful for the way that God has brought such a diverse and committed group of people together to achieve his own purposes. As I stood back and watched everyone working to get the building ready for worship, I was grateful for all the different passions and talents that were represented in our group. New Life has everything from great cooks to great administrators, and I’m thankful to God for bringing each person to our church.

I was also blessed by the support we received from those who are members of Living Hope and Living Hope - Bryan. Some came last night just to encourage and bless us, such as our longtime friends, the VandeVanters. It meant so much to me to be able to look out and see people who are praying for us and who want to see God do great things.

Ladies, I certainly hope you were both challenged and encouraged by the message last night. I have gotten to know so many of you during my years in College Station, and Kendra and I have benefitted tremendously from knowing you. I pray that God would continue to teach you to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit, and that you would renew your commitment to being an amazing example to your husband (if you are married) and the younger women around you. Men, encourage your wives and the younger women around you by considering them in view of God’s standards. Praise the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” instead of only praising external beauty, and help us raise the standard to biblical womanhood.

Next week, we’ll consider 1 Peter 3:7. Men, let’s be ready to hear how God would speak to us about living with our wives in an understanding way.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Launching New Life


March 24th, 2009 || Posted by Allen Duty

After months of praying, fasting, hoping, and planning, New Life will have its first worship service Saturday night at 5 p.m. For those who have been a part of the core group for some time now, excitement is mixed with reservation.

Did we make the right decisions? Did we hear clearly from God? Are we prepared to faithfully care for those God brings to us?

To all those questions, I would simply answer that God has proven, once again, that he is sovereign and that he is faithful. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps,” and Psalm 100:5 declares, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

It is greatly encouraging to know we serve a God whose plans we cannot spoil and who is faithful to his perfect will. New Life would have looked entirely different if it would have been planted in August or September or December. But God has determined to use those he has brought and those he will bring this March, along with all of our different callings, gifts, and passions, to shape New Life into the local church he desires.

Are we ready for Saturday? Of course not. We are still in the process of determining how God desires us to be the tangible expression of his body in College Station, Texas. What we do know is that God has made it clear through what he has done that he desires to do great things in and through New Life. We hope that God will move in your heart to join him and us where he is at work.



*Check out our new website: New Life* (more functionality to follow...)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Submission to Masters

Allen's second part of submission in 1 Peter. This part is about submission to masters, such as a boss or a professor, depending on what stage of life you're in. Next week, wives! Submission to our husbands!

Listen here.

1 Peter 2:18-25

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 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. (ESV)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break


Ahhh...in some senses that is relief that it's over. In some senses that is disappointment that it's over.

It was a wonderful week. It is incredibly wonderful to be reunited with my husband.

He went to Beaumont to do Hurricane Ike relief building projects and I went to Dallas to have fun with family.

He rebuilt a lady's house. I went shopping.

He spend hours everyday working. I went to see Disney on Ice.

You can see how this is going.

Anyhow, all that to say, I am SO glad to have my husband back. I'm so glad to be back in my house.

I am SO SO THANKFUL for the wonderful people who worked on our house while we were gone. They dry-walled, taped, floated and textured the new addition to our home while we were gone! Crazy thoughtful and sweet of them. It looks wonderful. And that actually made it sound like I know what I'm talking about, didn't it?

All I know is that now it's time to go pick out some paint colors! Yippee! The thought of decorating and choosing colors and fabrics just excites me to no end.

Well, on that note, I have much to do. I'll leave you with some pictures from the week:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Spring Break '09
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Submission to Government

Check out Allen's newest sermon in our series (at LHBC) Practical Grace, going through the book of 1 Peter.

The passage he covered was 1 Peter 2:13-17. I was thoroughly captivated by what the Lord spoke through Allen and highly recommend listening to his sermon.

You can find it here.

New Life starts next weekend! Please join us! I'll post more info as we get it. The website should be up soon!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Taylor Joyisms


These are some Taylor Joyisms from awhile ago to quite recently. It's hard to keep track of all the funny things she says, they are pretty much a constant thing around here. I'm not kidding when I say that she is THE funniest person I know. Alright, here we go:

Mommy, you're amazing!
(random, unprompted while we were both working in our respective kitchens).

Mommy, you look like a treasure.
I often tell her that she is a treasure to me. I guess that's where she got that from. Sweet sweet girl. They do pick up EVERYTHING. A good and bad thing (for some people or if you don't watch it!)

Mommy, I feel sick.
(takes my hand and puts it on her forehead).
Can you tell me if my feelings are hurt?


Taylor Joy: Daddy, I don't want to go to the dentist.
Allen: Well, most people don't like the dentist, Taylor Joy.
TJ: I don't like the dentist. And Jesus doesn't like the dentist either.


TJ: My bottom hurts.
A: What's the matter with your bottom?
TJ: Oh, it's just a alligator in my pants. (very nonchalant)


TJ: Mommy, is the new baby in your tummy?
Mommy: Yes.
TJ: I don't want the new baby to be in there. I want the new baby OUT OUT OUT! I want to hold her and tickle her.
(yes, "her"...we still don't know the gender but Taylor and I both tend to say "she" and "her")


I'm going to eat you up like a Mommy taco!
(sometimes we roll her up in a blanket and pretend we're eating a Taylor taco...)


We were praying one day and she said,
"and I pray that they come to the potty. No not the potty! The party!"


Today we walked outside and I said, "ooh it's foggy out here." When we got back into the car from the gym she said, "Mommy, is it still froggy?"

She's a hoot.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

So True...

I ripped this from GirlTalk, an awesome blog I follow...

The woman who wrote to the Washington Post advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, wanted to know why her friend, a new mom, no longer had time for her. Ms. Hax's response--though not too gracious--was dead-on-accurate in its portrayal of the life of a mom with young kids:

“When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

Or, as Ms. Hax puts it, “It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.”

I couldn't word it any better than that. I always aim to be in the car 30 minutes before we would actually need to leave to get somewhere and "somehow" we always end up in the car right on time. Gee, could it be those shoes that got lost though she JUST had them in her hand or that poopy diaper I had to change last minute, or the diaper bag that needs constant refilling...

Hmmm...what will my world look like with 3 children who are 3 and under?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Changes


Where do I even begin?

Lots of changes are occurring around here.

New baby coming in July.

New car...I need to post a picture of my hot mama minivan for those who have been asking.

New addition to our home (for baby's room now)...and later for us (a small study).

And now...a new job for Allen = NEW season of life for us!

Earlier this year, Allen was nominated to become the teaching elder (aka Pastor) of New Life. And now, several months after the whole interviewing process, it's official.

I can't tell you what relief it feels...It's relief that we are now part of a group of people who we have been praying for and who our hearts have been with for a long time now. We are excited and looking forward to this new stage in our lives.

We invite you to join us at New Life Baptist Church. The first church service is at 5 pm on Saturday, March 28th at Living Hope. The fellowship meal will be immediately following. It would be our pleasure to have you join our body of believers and see what living in community is all about.

Until then, please pray for Allen. With the triple role of Youth Pastor, College Pastor and Teaching Pastor, his life, and consequently our lives, may be a little crazy for the next few months. But we are up for the challenge! Thanks for those of you who have been praying for us. I just thought it might be time to update the rest of you on all the changes occurring around the Duty home. We are blessed to be going through these changes with many of you!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sew Fun!


We had a little sewing party with some precious girls on Friday and it was truly SEW fun!

I thought I would be showing these girls how to make blankets, but much to my surprise, they had their acts together and knew much of what to do already! One girl even made a cute little Bible holder!

We all decided that there would be no more buying baby gifts when making them was this easy! So, those of you with babies due, sorry if you see these pictures and then aren't surprised when these blankets are gifted to you, but I have to post these pictures and show off our cute blankets!



Whitney hard at work...


Jessica hard at work...


Katherine's cute Winnie the Pooh blanket


Here is Jessica with her cute girly blanket!


Whitney and her fancy appliqued blanket

What a fun day!

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