Sunday, October 31, 2010

Luther Puts a Nail in the Heart of Bad Religion

I'm reposting this from The Resurgence blog. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Why did Martin Luther nail his famous 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door on October 31, 1517? He was confronting two religious observances that promoted false saintliness and exploited people’s fear of judgment and purgatory. There’s a curious connection between Halloween and Reformation Day, and it’s more than just proximity on the calendar.


(October 31) is celebrated by millions each year with costumes and candy. Halloween's deepest roots are decidedly pagan, despite its Christianized name. Its origin is Celtic and has to do with summer sacrifices to appease Samhain, the lord of death, and evil spirits. Those doing the pagan rituals believed that Samhain sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. Christians tried to confront these pagan rites by offering a Christian alternative (All Hallows’ Day) that celebrated the lives of faithful Christian saints on November 1. In medieval England the festival was known as All Hallows, hence the name Halloween (All Hallows' eve) for the preceding evening.

All Saints' Day

All Hallows' Day or All Saints' Day (November 1) was first celebrated on May 13, 609, when Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to the Virgin Mary. The date was later changed to November 1 by Pope Gregory III, who dedicated a chapel in honor of all saints in the Vatican Basilica. In 837, Pope Gregory IV (827-844) ordered its church-wide observance. Its origin lies earlier in the common commemorations of Christian martyrs. Over time these celebrations came to include not only the martyrs, but all saints. During the Reformation the Protestant churches came to understand “saints” in its New Testament usage as including all believers and reinterpreted the feast of All Saints as a celebration of the unity of the entire Church.

All Souls' Day

All Souls' Day or the Day of the Dead is normally celebrated, primarily by Roman Catholics, on November 2. This is a day dedicated to prayer and almsgiving in memory of ancestors who have died. People pray for the souls of the dead, in an effort to hasten their transition from purgatory to heaven by being purged and cleansed from their sins.

Reformation Day

Reformation Day (October 31) commemorates Luther's posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. This act triggered the Reformation, as they were immediately translated and distributed across Germany in a matter of weeks. The Protestant Reformation was the rediscovery of the doctrine of justification—salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone—and the protest against the corruption within the Roman Catholic Church. The century before the Reformation was marked by widespread dismay with the venality of the leaders in the Roman Catholic Church and with its false doctrines, biblical illiteracy, superstition, and corruption. Monks, priests, bishops, and popes in Rome taught unbiblical doctrines like the selling of indulgences, the treasury of merit, purgatory, and salvation through good works.

Treasury of Merit

Spiritually earnest people were told to justify themselves by charitable works, pilgrimages, and all kinds of religious performances and devotions. They were encouraged to acquire this “merit,” which was at the disposal of the church, by purchasing certificates of indulgence. This left them wondering if they had done or paid enough to appease God's righteous anger and escape his judgment. This was the context that prompted Luther’s desire to refocus the church on salvation by grace through faith on account of Christ by imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us. To those spiritually oppressed by indulgences and not given assurance of God’s grace, Luther proclaimed free grace to God’s true saints:

God receives none but those who are forsaken, restores health to none but those who are sick, gives sight to none but the blind, and life to none but the dead. He does not give saintliness to any but sinners, nor wisdom to any but fools. In short: He has mercy on none but the wretched and gives grace to none but those who are in disgrace. Therefore no arrogant saint, or just or wise man can be material for God, neither can he do the work of God, but he remains confined within his own work and makes of himself a fictitious, ostensible, false, and deceitful saint, that is, a hypocrite (Luther W.A. 1.183ff).

Instead of the treasury of merit that was for sale, Luther protested, “The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God” (Thesis 62). In celebration of Reformation Day, you should seriously read all 95 Theses—they're really good.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fab Find Friday: The Future Mrs. Darcy, etc.

Today I leave you with a little link love:

In light of my post on Tuesday, I'm loving this Ginny + Harry inspired invitation suite by The Future Mrs. Darcy.

Ladies, the first image in this blog post by The Nichols will have your biological clock ticking lickety-split!

Look no further than this DIY project from Twig + Thistle to spruce up your Thanksgiving table this year.

Even if you aren't a future bride, this post on Farmer's Market flowers from 100 Layer Cake could be useful for any holiday soirée coming up soon!

Use an ice-cube tray to organize your jewelry or use a mitten to protect your sunglasses in your purse...just two of the many New Uses for Old Things from Real Simple.

Have a happy Halloween weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flowers in a Coffee Cup

Isn't this a beauty? About a month ago, I had the pleasure of attending a reception at the MCG President's house, and near the end of the event, one of the Directors in my division told me to grab a centerpiece and take it home. Well, you don't have to tell me twice!

But these pretty flowers weren't going to last long in florist's foam, so I had fun taking the arrangement apart and clustering the different blooms together in vases and sprinkling them throughout our home. It really livened up our little place for a week! I had to get really creative with the shorter-stem flowers, though, and our Fiestaware coffee cups turned out to be the perfect solution. I loved having them perched on our stovetop, and the red and yellow of the flowers were a perfect compliment to our kitchen colors.

So moral of the story'll never know what a quick glance in your kitchen cabinet might inspire!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A book worm.

Dontcha know, having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card? {10 points if you know where that's from!} I know I know, I'm a huge dork. But I love this current stage in my life, where I can actually read for pleasure. I've got a pretty good reading list going, and every two weeks or so, I visit the gorgeous new Augusta-Richmond County Library {pictured below} and try to put a dent in it.

Right now I am in the middle of reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third book in the series. I know I'm about thirteen years behind on this, but I totally understand all the hullabaloo about Harry now. The books are so good. My goal is to have the whole series read by the time Part 2 of the last movie comes out in July 2011. We'll see how that goes...

But don't worry, I'm not just filling my mind with silly old fiction these days. Kyle and I are reading The Two Sides of Love together by Dr. John Trent and Gary Smalley {author of The Five Love Languages}. We're reading it with our newlywed Sunday School class at Warren Baptist Church, and I've really enjoyed it so far.

The book is about {you guessed it!} the two sides of love, identified as the hard side {the ability to be consistent, to discipline, to protect, to challenge, and to correct} and the soft side {the ability to be compassionate, sensitive, patient, and understanding}. The book helps you pinpoint which side you tend to express more based on your personality type, and gives you practical ways to improve communication with your spouse {or with any relationship} by gaining a better understanding of where they're coming from. And ultimately, it demonstrates how Christ was the perfect balance of hard and soft side love, emphasizing how important it is for us as Christ-followers to strive to love like He does. And with that, I will leave you with this verse:

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers...Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:16,18

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fab Find Friday: One Family, Thirty Years

We are totally stealing this as a Fenton family tradition. {Click on the photo for the full effect, it doesn't entirely fit in my tiny margins.}

“On June 17th every year, my family goes through a private ritual: we photograph ourselves to stop, for a fleeting moment, the arrow of time passing by.”
- Diego Goldberg, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I stumbled across this gem on Marvelous Kiddo. You can also find it on Maquette and How to be a Retronaut, as well as an updated version here.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oops! We forgot our anniversary.

...Our "dating" anniversary, that is. Monday, October 11th marked the fourth year we have been together, and both of us just straight-up forgot about it. Which is kinda weird, because we used to make a pretty big deal about it in the past:

For our one-year date, we discovered our absolute favorite restaurant in Atlanta {if that's possible}: Two Urban Licks. Kyle took me back there this summer for my birthday, but I have to say I'm partial to our first experience at Two. With it being dark outside, the cool October breeze gently blowing in, the candles lit all over the restaurant and the Atlanta skyline in view, our first experience was simply more romantic. Here are some photos from that night in October 2007 {notice anything different about Kyle? haha}:

{Kyle learned how to play "I Wanna Grow Old With You" from the Wedding Singer on the guitar. It was so cute!}

For our two-year date, we went to The Basil Press in downtown Athens. Sadly, that restaurant is now closed, but that means our pictures of it must be super-exclusive or something, right? ;) We'd like to think that. We then enjoyed a movie together afterward {Kyle was a trooper and let me see The Duchess}. Oh and that super-cute blue dress was borrowed from the wardrobe of Mrs. Julie Minton {thanks roomie!}.

You'll notice Kyle's hair looks different in these pictures as well, all because of that fateful blackout game vs. Alabama when College Gameday rolled into town. Ick. {no way was I letting him keep that mohawk, hence the shaved head}:

And finally, for our three-year date, we were feeling particularly localvore-ish so we dined at Farm 255 in downtown Athens. Post-amazing-shrimp-and-grits-dinner, we perused around North Campus and found the perfect place to sit and share our future dreams together, the Herty Field Fountain.

And that fabulous dress was borrowed from the lovely Jaclyn Elliot {p.s. whose June wedding was featured in Atlanta Weddings Magazine, she's a fancy pants! Check it out here and here. Way to rock the wedding scene, Elliots!}.

So like I said, this year October 11 came and went without a peep, and I guess that is our silent way of saying that the only anniversary that matters now is March 6. The day that we truly promised forever to each other, before the Lord and before everyone we love. {But we like to pretend that we celebrated sorta-kinda our four-year dating anniversary with the camping trip we took this weekend, though their proximity to each other was totally non-purposeful! A post about our trip coming soon!} :D

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fab Find Friday: Southern Savers

It's Friday, so let's play a game! What does saving enough for a down payment on a house, providing for our children, taking them on awesome trips, and opening up our own business have to do with each other? Besides being future plans of ours, they all have to do with Southern Savers, of course! This site is like the be-all end-all site for couponing, and it will convert anyone into a savvy shopper. Which, in turn, will be a huge help in reaching A, B, C, and D above for us.

I've been wanting to learn how to coupon for a while, but there were so many sites out there about it that I just didn't know where to start, so I got frustrated and gave up before I even began. And then one day, when I was reading one of my favorite brand design blogs, the author mentioned Southern Savers as one of her new favorite sites (she's about to have her first baby, so she's especially in thrifty mode!). Like any good reader would do, I clicked through the link and voilà!, there was the exact site I've been looking for. Extremely helpful information all laid out in a clean, non-vertigo-inducing design.

{Love their graphics!}

Whether you want to learn the trick of the trade, clarify some coupon lingo, get organized, or simply print off some coupons before your next grocery trip, it's all right there for you. So get out there and shop savvy, sister!

Monday, October 11, 2010

We Want a Weimaraner!

{Photo by ee photography}

Meet Doc, our little buddy that we do not have as of yet. Named after our dads, who are both veterinarians, but sometimes I think we made that explanation up. Anyway, we've wanted a Weimaraner for about a year and half now, and recently the itch to get one has been especially itchy.

So why don't we just go out and get him, you ask? Well, plain and simple, our current townhouse just isn't big enough for the three of us. I mean, take a gander at our "backyard":

Kinda sad, right? Oh and there's the 20 lb. weight limit on pets, too. Doc will only get about 50 lbs. bigger than that, we can totally get away with it I'm sure. So needless to say we are praying and thinking about what we should do, possibly looking into moving once our lease is up here in the spring. But getting a Weim wouldn't be the only reason why we want to move. We would really love to rent a house where we don't share a wall with our neighbors, among other things!

So if you know of anyone who is planning on breeding their Weimaraner within the next six months -OR- if you know of anyone who is renting their house in the Evans/Augusta area in Spring 2011, give us a holler! I don't know how much longer I can get Kyle to wait on the dog, I catch him looking at the AJC Classifieds and pictures like the ones below all the time. :D

{Previous three photos by ee photography}

Aren't they just so beautiful? Those big blue eyes are going to get me into a lot of trouble!

{Photo by Belletti Photography}

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fab Find Friday: Columbus Day Sales!

Forget Black Friday, with a little planning you could finish all your Christmas shopping this weekend by hitting up these amazing Columbus Day sales. Even better, get all your wrapping done by downloading free gift wrap, cards and tags from Gift-Wrap It and call it a day!

Express - Up to 70% off Sale + Extra 30% off
J.Crew - Up to 70% off Final Sale + Extra 20% off w/ coupon EXTRA20
Kohls - Take an extra 15% off any purchase or, spend $100+ and take an extra 20% off
Macy's - 20% to 60% off sale + extra 25% off clearance [Exp 10/12]
Polo Ralph Lauren - 25% off coupon RLCCP or PINK [Exp 10/10]

SHOES! - Up to 65% off + extra 25% off w/ coupon 1492 - End of season sale on sandals, plus up to 60% off Sperry Top-Siders
Famous Footwear - Fall Boot Sale (savings of up to 50%), + extra 15% off w/ coupon SAIL15
Shoebuy - Extra 20% off your order w/ coupon EMLCOLUMBUS10

IKEA - Free Breakfast [10/10-10/12]
Pottery Barn - save up to 50% on over 100 new items

Best Buy - 10-15% off printable coupons
Michaels - 50% off any regular priced item printable coupon
Petco - 20% off your entire purchase - 80% off coupon ($25 GC for $2.00) FOUR
Bath & Body Works - Up to 50% off select items, B3G3, 2 for $20 candles and more!
Yankee Candle - 3 for $15 + 5 scents (sea harbor, cinnamon roll, cinnamon & sugar, baby powder, & Café Au Lait) large jars $15 and medium jars $12

So get out there and save! :D

Thursday, October 7, 2010


When my Dad's side of the family got together to celebrate Meemaw's life, naturally we got out a pile of old photos and started reminiscing about our favorite memories with her. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I love love love pictures, especially old pictures that have an authentic vintage look, and so I was really excited to have a chance to see family photos dating all the way back to the 1800s (yeah, amazing). I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you just because (1) they light up my brain and (2) it might just inspire a trip down memory lane of your own...

{Taken in the 1800s, my great-great grandmother is the one holding the child by the fence. The fact that I have this photo on my computer on a blog two hundred years later just blows my mind.}

{My great-great grandmother is the third one from the right. She had the most southern of southern names, Gussie Pearl!}

{L-R: My grandmother Lillian and great-grandmother Mary Lou (joined together in heaven now), standing with my grandmother's Uncle F.M. and apparently a dog.}

{Meemaw was a contestant in a beauty pageant at Georgia Southern, she sure was beautiful! They had the left photo framed in their house, and I used to stare and stare at it when I was little, dreaming of wearing a big, beautiful gown and feeling like a southern belle.}

{Meemaw witnessed many graduations: obviously her own from high school, my Dad's from UGA's Vet School, and my Mom's from undergrad when she got her BSEd. Pawpaw is wearing a robe as well because he was a UGA professor of Ag Education at the time.}

{And now a few photos of the lovebirds...Pete + Lillian Dickerson :D}

{The love of a grandmother is irreplaceable. You can see it in the look in her eyes with all three of these photos. I'm on the left, top-right is my sister Ashley, and bottom-right is my brother Drew.}

{From her own children to her grandchildren, there was no place like Meemaw's lap.}

{Halloween! My cousin David as a mummy never fails to crack me up.}

{Meemaw was always so supportive of us, pictured here at one of Drew's baseball All-Star games and my tennis senior night in high school. And yes, I did the whole tie-your-t-shirt-in-a-scrunchie-thing. Who didn't? ;)}

{Celebrating Meemaw + Pawpaw's Golden Anniversary at Uncle Chris + Aunt Melanie's house.}

{Growing up...Thanksgiving 2006. When Kyle met the family!}

{The entire family at Meemaw's 80th birthday party, the last time we were all together before she passed.}

And now for some of my personal favorites from Dad's side of the family:

{Party in the jacuzzi! I especially love how freaked out Drew looks.}

{My cousin Brian and me at Fernandina Beach.}

{Ashley "picking cotton(?)" at Grandma Lou Lou's plantation.}

{Probably my all-time fave of Ashley, Drew and me.}

Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.

-Don Draper, Mad Men


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