JANUARY 2013 BIRCHBOX REVIEW

Posted by Tori on Jan 23, 2013 in a good word., beauty

Yes, I realize that the blog has been waaaaay too quiet lately. I apologize. I have been drowning in reference books the past few weeks, preparing for a Bible study. (Truthfully, there  is NOTHING I’d rather be doing. I absolutely love that process of studying and writing. Wish that could be my job. I would do it all day everyday.) That project is over and done with now, and I am really excited to share some of what I learned. Because the process was so, so good and rich. I want you to taste it in the worst way. So, I’ll be working on condensing some of my notes to post on the blog. But, for now, I hope you’ll enjoy this little post that requires no exertion of your mind whatsoever. (*wink*)

My January Birchbox came last week, and I was really excited to see what was inside! Here’s a look:

Oscar Blandi | Pronto Wet Instant Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner: Really, I don’t need to try another shampoo. And when I do, I usually need to use it for longer than the amount they give you in the sample pack to decide if I like it or not. So, it was nice, but I didn’t notice any “instant” volumizing miracles. (Maybe I’m not in a very good mood for writing about beauty products right now…but still…) The full-sized product retails for $24 (each). Maybe you’ll get better results?

Eyeko | Skinny Liquid Eyeliner: I was actually excited to try this one because I’ve never used a liquid eyeliner before. But, I wasn’t as impressed as I had hoped. The Birchbox “how to” says: “If you’re a liner novice, draw a few dots as close to your upper lashes as possible with the tip and then connect the dots. More advanced users can trace a single stroke across their lashline.” So, maybe I’m just not skilled at applying eyeliner. The product retails for $15. So, I’m gonna have to get better before I spring for a $15 eyeliner.

Nicole | by Nicole Richie: I feel like this is a heavier, more evening-dinner-cocktail party-formal type fragrance. Not that I know anything about fragrances, but that’s the type of thing I think I would save this one for. Full-size: $55

Embryolisse | Lait-Creme Concentre (24 Hour Miracle Cream): This stuff really is fantastic! I love it. I have been using it as a night-time moisturizer, but it also doubles as a makeup remover too. I haven’t tried it as a makeup remover, but the instructions say you can put a little on a cotton ball and gently rub your makeup off with it, rinse, and then cleanse. It is a rich moisturizer, yet not heavy feeling at all. Really do love this one. The full-sized product retails for $28 — a little pricey, but it is awesome.

Oscar Blandi | Pronto Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray: This is a great spray that you can apply either before or after blow drying to protect your hair from the hot styling tools you use. I know that this is really important for me because not only to I blow dry my hair 9 out of 10 days, I will also use either a flat iron or a curling iron in addition. I really loved this product. There was just one draw-back — and this is a huge one, especially for hair products — was the smell. Maybe it’s just me (but I don’t think so), but this one does not smell great. Now, I did only notice it as I was applying the product to my hair. I did not notice my hair smelling like that after I styled it. Otherwise, I would have only used it the one time. So, all in all, I like this one a lot too. It retails for $23 for a 4oz can.

 Well, there you have it! Sorry there weren’t any fun pictures with this one. But, it was a great box. To learn more about Birchbox, or to subscribe, click here. Here’s the low-down on how the subscription works: Each month, you receive a box filled with samples of high-end beauty and lifestyle products. You can subscribe for a whole year, or just try it out month-to-month. The boxes are $10/month & it’s always a fun surprise to see what’s inside! Once you get your Birchbox in the mail, you can sign in online for a list of the products you received, more information, videos on how to use the products, as well as the option to purchase them with free shipping during that month. With each product in your box, you also have the option to submit feedback and receive 10 points. 100 points are worth $10 for future redemption in the Birchbox shop on any product they carry or promote. Pretty neat! (And, if you save up your points, you could get your favorite item free.) Also, for each friend you refer to Birchbox, you will be rewarded with 50 free points! It’s so fun! Happy Sampling.

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MY MONDAY RANDOM RAMBLES.

Posted by Tori on Jan 14, 2013 in ayden., coffee, family., recipes.

Today, I’m linking up with my friend, Carissa, for MISCELLANY MONDAY! I do this every so often when I’m feeling extra random. Hope you can relate and aren’t scared away…

1. I’m not tremendously fond of how sickness lingers after you begin to feel better. Really ready to feel like myself again. Plus, I am spending way to much on Lysol & Clorox.

2. My boy turns THREE THIS WEEK!! Seriously, it hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s doing weird things to my heart. I guess I should get used to it, because it doesn’t look like it will get any easier as my babies get older. Ayden is getting so big & becoming more and more grown up everyday. I am crazy in love with him. God has blessed me way over my head with that boy.

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3. I have been super blessed and encouraged by this girl’s blog series on the book of Psalms (every Tuesday & Thursday on her blog). If you haven’t met Nadine yet, you need to. She is so in love with Jesus & His Word, and He’s using her to change this world. Love her to pieces.

4. Have you tried Starbucks’ new Vanilla Spice Latte? I’m usually not a “vanilla latte” girl, but I really like this one. (Told you this was random, right?)

5. In case you missed it, I guest posted over at Savory Concoctions, my friend, Jennifer’s food blog last week. I shared a recipe for Pasta Chicken Salad that I stole from a good friend and actually make quite often. It’s yummy. Check it out.

Welp. That’s about all I got. I hope that you have a wonderful week, and that you are blown away by His favor & love.

Psalm 3:3-5
3But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
4I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.
5I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.

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THE FLU HAS DESCENDED

Posted by Tori on Jan 8, 2013 in ayden., family., Instagram., twins.

Greetings from our sick little corner of the world! Actually, I think we are all finally on the mend. I knew it was coming. Everyone was tweeting and blogging about their sick families right before and during Christmas. I had a feeling it might be our turn soon. And, then, for a split second, I thought maybe we would make it out unscathed. Not so much.

It started with me having bronchitis on New Year’s Eve. Then, New Year’s Day, it was William’s turn with strep. Three days later, it was Ayden with the flu. The next day, Chelsea had the flu too.

I have known for a long time that Brooklyn is tough. This girl can smash her face into a wall and walk off like nothing happened. She can be bleeding and not even notice. Often, she will jerk her head back while sitting in my lap and nearly break my nose and think nothing of it. So, why should I be surprised that she has been the only one to remain healthy during this crazy week?! She really is something else. (Watch, as soon as I say this, she will get it now…)

But, through it all our God is faithful and good.

 

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This is me at 8:00 a.m. NYE on my way to the Doctor. This is my “Seriously?! Here we go…” face.

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Friday at the Dr. with Ayden. He was SO sad. ALL he wanted to do was snuggle. No complaints there. Just hard to see him so miserable.

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Saturday. Ayden called this his “sick couch.” We had sort of quarantined him to one side of the living room. (When you have 3 under 3, and both mom and dad are sick, you do everything you can to keep it from spreading.) This was in the morning before we knew Chelsea had it. Then we just said ‘to heck with it’ and let them have the whole living room.

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Ok, this is Chelsea with a RAGING fever in her high chair trying to get some meds and hydrate. Pulled out my iPhone to snap a pic of her pitiful, sick face, and she gives me this smile. Seriously. She and her sister are the most beautiful little ladies I’ve ever seen.

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This one is from yesterday. William worked from home and hired himself an assistant. Isn’t she the cutest?

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Also from last night, Ayden feeling well enough to help with some dishes. To be honest, this was the first time we’d ever done this together. He was so excited to help. Hoping that sweet spirit will just continue to grow as he does. I really love this little guy.

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And…this is definitely one key to not being completely miserable while you’re sick and caring for sick little ones (& one sick big one) all at the same time. Introducing: the heavenly scent of a vanilla latte constantly permeating your kitchen. You’re welcome. Here’s what you do. Head over to Target & pick out a cheap hurricane, a bag of coffee beans, and a vanilla (or whatever) scented clearance candle left over from Christmas. I cannot take credit for this ingenious idea — totally stole it from my mother-in-law. But, it definitely made me happy every time I walked into the kitchen to refill a sippy cup or grab the Tamiflu out of the fridge.

As much as I hated having 4 out of the 5 of us sick at one time, it was kind of nice to all be miserable together (with the exception of Brooklyn who still has no clue what just happened). We are slowly ‘reassimilating’ back into normal life and the real world. Thankful that He provides what we need when we need it.

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A NEW DAY — SURRENDER

Posted by Tori on Jan 5, 2013 in a good word.

I love new beginnings, fresh starts, new days, but some something about lofty resolutions, goals, and vision statements for a new year have have always seemed way too daunting. It’s not that I don’t find value in these things. I do. But, for me, I think the main reason I’ve shied away from voicing my own “new year’s goals” is my own (sinful) fear of failure. I think I get nervous to share ideas and plans for fear that I’ll lose credibility when I don’t follow through. (Way to make it all about me, right?!) There’s a few things (well, a lot of things) wrong with this thinking. We should never act or make any decision out of fear. His Word makes it very clear that fear does not come from the Lord, and has no place occupying the thoughts of His followers. Also, whenever I try to do anything out of my own power and strength, it will lack His blessing, and eternal value. Only what is directed and accomplished through His Spirit will have those. So, it’s imperative that my heart beat as one with His. And if my goals are in line with what He has called me to do, I cannot fail. I may not achieve my idea of success, but whatever is placed completely in His hands, I can trust He will not waste.

Another popular thing to do at the beginning of a new year is to select a “one word” that describes the overarching theme of what you want to be about during that year. I like this idea a whole lot better.  So, I thought I would give it a try in 2013.

God is doing big things in and through His church in our generation. I have no idea what 2013 holds, but He does and He’s already doing work to prepare me for it. So, for this year, I want my life to be marked by a complete SURRENDER to Him. I don’t want to build my own kingdom, waste my time on anything that doesn’t honor Him, and I don’t want to miss what He wants to do in me.

Surrender is far from a passive rest, or a defeated throwing in the towel. It requires a constant realigning of ourselves with Him. It cannot be done apart from His Spirit. But, when we live and walk in surrender to Him, we are sure to fall more deeply in love with Him, and experience the abundance He desires for our lives. That’s what I want for 2013. A heart and life that belongs entirely to Him. For Him to use however He is pleased. Come, Lord, Jesus. Make this year one worthy of remembrance.

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2012: LOOKING BACK AND RECOUNTING THE WONDERS

Posted by Tori on Dec 31, 2012 in a good word., beauty, coffee, family., thankful heart.

Recounting the wonders. As I was forming vision for this site, the Lord kept bringing the words of Psalm 40:5 back to me. Over and over. It’s a verse that has meant a lot to me over the years. On my wedding day, it’s what I prayed would become the testimony of my marriage. And, I can honestly say — as I look back over my life, my marriage, my years as a mother — is my testimony. It has remained true in every season.

“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.”

But, that’s what I want to try to do — recount the wonders He has done — as I remember all that 2012 has brought. When I was sketching out ideas and remembering things that have happened this past year, so many things flooded back to me. Were I to revisit all of them, we would be here until next year. So, at the bottom of the post, you’ll find some of my favorite moments in pictures.

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Writing is so important to me. The Lord uses the writing process in so many ways to grow me spiritually. That’s part of the reason I love blogging so much (one of the selfish reasons, I guess). So, here are some posts that have really changed me and meant something very deep to me.

 Dear Ayden
Jesus Lives
What’s Real and What’s Not
Sowing and Reaping
I Exalt Thee
ONE THING REMAINS (Probably my most treasured from 2012.)
Sovereign Over Us
Stronger (No Playing Favorites)
That’s What it’s all About
We Serve a King and a Kingdom
Perfect Doesn’t Mean Pretty

This year has been full. Full of great things, full of hard things, but mostly just full of His faithfulness. I am thankful that the Lord designed us for seasons, and that He’s constantly at work in us and for us — whether we realize it or not. So, I am closing the book on 2012 with a grateful heart. Lessons learned and ready to embrace what’s coming in 2013. Thankful that He uses even (or especially) the hard and confusing things to prepare us and work good for what’s to come.

Whether this year has been one of plenty, blessing, and abundance, or one of pain, difficulty, and confusion, rest in the truth that He is. (In Greek it’s Ego Eimi). I AM. He’s got this and He’s got you. Right in the center of His sight & His hand. He won’t be surprised by anything that comes along with 2013. He’s busy making something way bigger and better than we can see. For our good. And His glory.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

 

 Cheers!

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DUST SETTLING

Posted by Tori on Dec 28, 2012 in family., thankful heart.

Whew! What a wild ride this last week has been! It’s been so nice to have a “vacation,” but there’s something happy about settling back into normalcy — or whatever that is. You know. Have you ever had a vacation, but then came back feeling like you needed a vacation? I think that’s just how it is when you celebrate Christmas with little ones sometimes. But boy did we have fun. Here’s a few of the highlights:

Ayden ready to go hunting…so he thinks.

Chelsea & Uncle Mitch

Can you imagine how chaotic this process is?!

Thank you, SaSa!

Because once you open the helmet, you have to wear it while you unwrap everything else, right?

You know, this Christmas was one unlike any other I’ve had. I really went into it with a heavy, burdened heart. Christmas Eve was pivotal for me. It’s where He began to shift things around. I realized that what I needed that night was exactly the gift we would be celebrating the next morning. Just my heart wasn’t in the celebrating mood. See, I think that’s what happens when we forget what the whole thing is all about in the first place. I knew in my head that it’s not about the presents, or the food, or the people you’re with, or the circumstances, but there was a disconnect somewhere. While all of those things can make me happy, none of them can satisfy. Only He can do that. Only His joy, His peace, His hope. Everything else falls overwhelmingly short.

How thankful I am that He is with us. And that He never changes. Never walks away. Resting in that makes everything else seem so temporary. And it is. Makes me want to make the most of the vapor that is my life here. Makes me want to press harder, lean in more closely, and open my eyes to all that awaits.

I could not be more excited about what this new year brings. I am along for the ride, wherever He wants to take us.

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MEET JENNIFER…& HER PUMPKIN BREAD

Posted by Tori on Dec 21, 2012 in recipes.

Today, I’d like for y’all to meet my friend, Jennifer. She writes a cooking blog, Savory Concoctions, that you MUST check out! I asked her to come over here and share one of her favorite holiday recipes with you. I should not have been surprised that she chose to share her Pumpkin Bread recipe. It is so, so good. And she is famous for it around here. I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe and make it to have on Christmas morning with a big ‘ol cup of coffee! And…check out all the awesome recipes on her blog!

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When people start talking about Christmas baking the first thing that comes to my mind is pumpkin
bread. Each December my kitchen becomes a pumpkin bread baking factory because it’s my favorite
gift to give local friends for Christmas. And let me tell you, freshly baked pumpkin bread is the best air
freshener in the world! I love playing with the dogs in the backyard for a few minutes or checking the
mail just so I can walk back into the house and be greeted by that most wonderful aroma.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil
2 2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 16 ounce can of pure pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:

–Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
–Grease the bottoms of two loaf pans with Crisco.
–Mix the oil and sugar in a large bowl.
–Add the eggs, pumpkin, and water and mix well.
–Blend in the remaining ingredients, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula
part way through to make sure everything mixes evenly.
–Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
–Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean
and the bread springs back at your touch.
–Cool on cooling racks for 5-10 minutes, then gently run a table knife around the inside of the
pan to loosen the sides of the loaves. Invert the pans over a cooling rack to remove the loaves,
turn them right side up and finish cooling on the racks.

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A LITTLE GREEK NEVER HURT ANYONE

Posted by Tori on Dec 19, 2012 in a good word., theology

The main reason why I’m here online is to encourage you to grow in your faith through deeper study of His Word. easoms.com was born out of my love for writing and my love for God’s Word. My educational background is entirely devoted to these two loves. I have a deep desire for women to live passionately for their Savior and grow closer to Him through the study of His Word. If that’s not what I’m doing with the words and influence He’s given me, then I believe I’m wasting my time and my gifts.

Another passion of mine is that we would reengage our minds as a part of Bible study, just as highly as we engage our hearts.

The Lord always blesses the study of His Word. Always. So, with this in mind, I humbly ask you to indulge me while I go, quite possibly, where no other blogger has gone before.

I plan to introduce a new study series in 2013, focused on the book of Hebrews. You’ll be hearing more about that after the first of the year. And, I promise it will not be anywhere nearly as “academic” as this post. But, today I am sharing a word study on propitiation: perhaps one of the best, most exciting words you’ll find in Scripture. So, grab a cup of coffee and dig in with me. It will be well worth our time. Promise.

No matter if you’re new to Bible study, or have been studying Scripture for the majority of your lifetime, you may or may not have ever read or conducted a word study. Word studies are not just for making your head hurt, or making you feel smarter. They really are beneficial to a deeper understanding of the meaning and application associated with a particular passage. I think you’ll find this to be true when we’re finished. And, relax. I’ve done all the work for you. All you have to do is reap the rewards!

HILASTERION

The word we are looking at today is propitiation from Romans 3:25 (NASB). To give you a bit of context, here are the surrounding verses (Romans 3:21-26).

(21)But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, (22)even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; (23)for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24)being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (25)whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; (26)for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

This particular Greek word (hilasterion) is used only twice in Scripture – here in Romans 3:25 and, once again, in Hebrews 9:5 referencing the mercy seat (the place where the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement).

The word “propitiation” is probably never used in our society apart from a Christian context.  It is difficult to think of this word being used within the context of casual conversation, especially among unbelievers.  “Propitiation” seems to have lost any usage in our culture apart from a Biblical or theological context. It refers to the appeasement of divine wrath, and a correct understanding/interpretation of this has enormous implications for our theology.

Hilasterion comes from a larger word family found all throughout the New Testament. In studying other words in the same family, it is striking to understand that words that originally denoted our human action in relation to God are now used instead for God’s divine action in relation to us and on our behalf.

The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament, also referred to as LXX) uses hilasterion approximately 20 times for the Hebrew word kapporet, which refers to the covering for the Ark of the Covenant. Every year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sin offering on and before the kapporet (hilasterion). Closely related to kapporet is the Hebrew verb kaphar, which is associated with kopher (referring to the mercy seat, and used in connection with the burnt offering).

Who cares? Well…you might…hang on…

Romans 3:25 says, “…whom [referring to Jesus Christ] God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.  This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed…”

Through faith” is to be understood in connection with hilasterion.  Christ is the object of faith; he is our hilasterion.  “In his blood” refers to hilasterion, not to faith.  The revelation of the righteousness demonstrated in Jesus as hilasterion is linked with the passing over of former sins, in which the kapporet plays a significant role.  Romans 3:25 seems to be making the point that Jesus is a higher kapporet.  If this view is taken, then Paul is using the kapporet as a symbol for Christ’s atoning work.  However, if he has the actual kapporet in mind, it is reoriened to Jesus as the one in whom true and full atonement has been made.  Relating hilasterion to the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 suggests that Christ is the new covenant equivalent, or fulfillment of the Old Testament kapporet.

It is important, though, as we study hilasterion to remain mindful of the larger context preceding Romans 3:25 (Romans 1:18-3:20), which begins with a discussion of God’s wrath revealed against godlessness.  In 3:25, Paul explains that Christ has become our propitiatory sacrifice to satisfy the wrath of God. Christ, as the hilasterion, reveals God’s character to us, and represents us to God through His vicarious work on the cross, whereby He bore the divine judgement and secured redemption for those who would believe.

3 TAKE-AWAYS

So…3 important lessons:

  1. It is important to understand that propitiation is the “means by which justice is satisfied, God’s wrath is averted, and mercy can be shown on the basis of an acceptable sacrifice” (Believer’s Bible Commentary). Those who have their faith in Christ find mercy through His shed blood. The blood is not the object of faith; Christ is the object of faith! He Himself is the propitiation.
  2. Hilasterion refers to the aversion of God’s wrath. This is seen when the passage is taken in context (Romans 1:18).  In his commentary on the book of Romans, John Stott compares the pagan and the Christian response to the need, author, and nature of propitiation (The Message of Romans). The need for propitiation according to the pagan is the placation of ill-tempered gods, whereas the Christian need is the satisfaction of God’s holy wrath toward evil.  The author of propitiation for the pagan is the human; the Christian author of propitiation is God Himself through Christ.  The nature of propitiation according to the pagan is the bribing of the gods through various sacrifices, whereas the nature of propitiation for the Christian is the atoning death of Christ on the cross.  It is necessary that we keep in mind that God is not placated or propitiated like the pagan deities claim to be.
  3. Through this study, we see the reconciliation that occurs through Christ as our hilasterion. We are dependent on Christ to be our reconciliation.  God set Him forth for this purpose.  He initiates the action of reconciliation, not as the offending party, but as the offended party.

A WORD ON TRANSLATIONS

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the Greek word hilasterion, look at these popular translations of Romans 3:25, with the translation of hilasterion bolded:

“whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;” (NASB)

“God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—” (NIV)

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (KJV)

“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,” (NLT)

“God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.” (The Message).

In these translations, “propitiation” is only used twice to translate hilasterion.  The most common translation is “sacrifice of atonement,” or “sacrifice for sin.”  Such translations seem to cheat the reader of the element of satisfaction of God’s wrath toward sin.  In order to grasp this meaning of hilasterion, one would have to study significantly beyond the English translation.

APPLICATION: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?

So…props to you if you’re still reading. I think I love you.

Leon Morris writes, “It is the combination of the deep love for the sinner and the reaction against sin which brings about the situation in which the Bible refers to propitiation” (The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross).  God is not to be placated like the pagan deities.  He is holy, and His wrath towards sin is just as righteous as His goodness.  I pray that studying this word has deepened your love for Christ and His atoning work on the cross.  Although we sinned and initially severed fellowship with God, He acted on our behalf to reconcile the broken relationship through Christ as our hilasterion.  The propitiation originates with God, not to appease Himself, but to justify Himself in His uniform kindness to men deserving His wrath. John Stott beautifully summarizes the idea behind propitiation, “God himself gave himself to save us from himself.”

Propitiation communicates the atonement associated with the work of Christ on the cross, as well as the appeasement or satisfaction of the wrath of God toward sin.  Christ, in His sacrifice, became the object of God’s wrath to restore the broken fellowship that sin severed.  A proper understanding of hilasterion is essential to an accurate understanding of Paul’s argument in Romans 3.  Hilasterion communicates what Christ has done on behalf of the sinner, as well as exalts the holy, righteous character of God.  He is just in all He does, and has shown His mercy to sinners through providing Christ as our hilasterion.

Am I the only one who enjoyed the connection between Christ as the hilasterion and the mercy seat?  God has always provided a means of atonement for His people, under both the old covenant and the new.  He initiates the action of reconciliation, not as the offending party, but as the offended party.  God has made a way for us to be free from the bondage of our sin, yet He did so, not by laying aside the aspect of His character that must deal with sin, but by satisfying the demands of His character and justice in Christ. His mercy is consistent with His righteousness, as is His justice.  He is worthy of the highest praise!

This makes my adoration of the newborn King at Christmas that much sweeter. Knowing full well this is why He came. So, maybe you’ll remember this little word on Christmas morn and all that it means for you. Praise Him, our Emmanuel, our perfect Hilasterion.

(Please note: I am happy to provide this work as a resource to you in your personal Bible study, but should you choose to reference it in any other setting, I ask that you give reference to this post.)

 

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WEIGH YOUR WORDS

Posted by Tori on Dec 18, 2012 in a good word., thankful heart.

I have gone back and forth about whether or not I should post about the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT. Bloggers have handled this event in very different ways – some choosing to remain prayerful & silent, others sharing their own process of grief, others choosing to engage in a discussion on the problem of evil & God’s sovereignty, while still others have used their space to criticize and correct the words of their fellow writers. To be honest, I didn’t want to do any of that. There is a time and a place for academic dialogue on the problem of evil. It is a discussion with great value. But, the grief-stricken families of Newtown don’t really need a philosopher right now. (A theologian, perhaps…but I don’t think I’m her.) I have found that in the wake of extreme tragedy any words of comfort we utter out of a hurried response will likely come with later regret. There are so many words that could be said, but I believe, for now, they are better left unspoken.

So, I write today because I don’t want to pass over the events of last Friday without acknowledgement. My words are feeble and inadequate. My heart is broken and I am praying fervently for those precious families. We are reminded so harshly of the reality of our current existence. There is present evil. But, there is also an ever-present Savior. And we need Him. We celebrate His Incarnation at Christmas. He has come, has suffered, defeated sin and death, and He lives! But, we eagerly await the day He returns. That day is coming. And He will set all things right. For now, we are to be His hands and feet. Loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, & strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Come, Lord Jesus.

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DECEMBER 2012 BIRCHBOX {A REVIEW}

Posted by Tori on Dec 17, 2012 in beauty

I really love getting happy mail from Birchbox every month. If you are unfamiliar with Birchbox, you can check them out here. This is how the subscription works: Each month, you receive a box filled with samples of high-end beauty and lifestyle products. You can subscribe for a whole year, or just try it out month-to-month. The boxes are $10/month & it’s always a fun surprise to see what’s inside! Once you get your Birchbox in the mail, you can sign in online for a list of the products you received, more information, videos on how to use the products, as well as the option to purchase them with free shipping during that month. With each product in your box, you also have the option to submit feedback and receive 10 points. 100 points are worth $10 for future redemption in the Birchbox shop on any product they carry or promote. Pretty neat! (And, if you save up your points, you could get your favorite item free. This month, I used my points to purchase a 3 month gift subscription for a friend!) Also, for each friend you refer to Birchbox, you will be rewarded with 50 free points! For more information, or to subscribe click here.

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Here’s a look at what was inside my December Birchbox:

Juicy Couture | Juicy Couture: It’s always fun to get a fragrance in your Birchbox. I really do like this one too. It’s not too overpowering and it’s something appropriate for day or night. It’s very feminine with combined notes of watermelon, passion fruit, mandarin, marigold, and green apple with undertones of rose, vanilla, and caramel. The full-size 3.4 oz bottle sells for $90. While I do love the scent, I’m not sure if I would love it enough to commit to a $90  investment. (I guess I’m just not much of a perfume girl.)

Tea Forté | skin-smart Teas: These are green tea blends that are supposed to improve the health of your skin. Birchbox sent three bags to sample. I have only tried one, Cherry Marzipan, and to be honest, I was not a fan. I didn’t finish the whole cup. They also sent Cucumber Mint, and Honey Yuzu. Each flavor is designed to help your skin in a different way. I am hoping that I’ll enjoy the others a little more. A 16 bag container retails for $6, so if you enjoy the tea and want to improve your skin at the same time, this is not a bad deal!

 per-fékt Beauty | Lash Perfection Gel: This is a non-allergenic (yay!) mascara designed to prime, condition, darken, and lengthen your lashes. I have enjoyed using this one a lot. It doesn’t clump or smudge, and gives your lashes a natural look. The full-size product sells for $28.50, which is more than I like to spend on mascara, but overall, it’s a nice product.

Number 4 | Clarifying Shampoo: This is a great shampoo to restore health and shine to your hair after a week of product build-up and styling stress. You may use it as a weekly clarifying shampoo, but it is also safe to use every day. It will cleanse your hair and give it a “fresh start” without stripping your hair of moisture and essential oils. The full-size product retails for $32.

Frownies | Eye Gels: Ok, this one might just be my favorite! I have no way to tell if it actually “works,” but who cares! It feels amazing. Here’s the scoop. The ingredients of these under-eye gel patches are said to reduce puffiness and dark circles, increase radiance, slow aging, all while working to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. The eye gels are curved to fit underneath and beside your eyes. They are to be worn for 30 minutes at a time, and they can also be rehydrated an refrigerated for up to three uses. It is recommended to wear these for three consecutive days to begin, and then repeat weekly. These are almost as good as that gel mask my grandma used to refrigerate and wear before bed (anyone?). I have really enjoyed these as a way to relax before bed. A set of three sells for $29.95, which isn’t bad considering the gels can be used up to three times before discarding. So, the set should last you about seven weeks if you wear them as recommended.

So, there you have it – my December Birchbox! I hope you’ll subscribe and let me know what goodies are in your box! Happy sampling!

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