Cozie Blog

Life is nice when you're Cozie

Biltmore Trip

by coie - February 1st, 2011

This past weekend we were able to visit the Biltmore with my boss and his family (and one other couple they are friends with).  They were gracious enough to let us stay with them at their mountain retreat.  And, my seester sent us some free tickets she got in the mail.  Yay for cheap trips!  🙂

You can click “view all” under the slideshow to view the album, since these pics are small.

New Camera!

by coie - January 21st, 2011

Yay, we just got a new camera!  🙂

We're enthralled, but still trying to figure it out.

It’s a Canon Powershot SX20 IS.  12.1 megapixels, 20x optical wide angle zoom.  It’s pretty awesome.  So is Craigslist.

A Piece of My Mama’s Story

by coie - January 19th, 2011

This is a beautiful picture of God’s grace. It is so easy for Christians to forget that we were all DEAD in our sins before Christ redeemed us. So when we see that teen mom, we are disgusted with them. Why do we expect beauty from corpses? Go, spread the gospel! Live the gospel!

When I was 19 I was pregnant for the third time. A miscarriage, a two year old… and pregnant again. I was homeless and living with friends, and despite my ‘Christian’ upbringing I was convinced the only solution was abortion. My boyfriend agreed to take me to the abortion clinic, and on the appointed day, while I was waiting for him to pick me up, I got a call saying he could not take me after all because he had been picked up and formally charged with 2nd degree murder. At the time that sort of ruined my day.
Then I started jumping through hoops; my insurance wouldn’t pay for an abortion and nobody I knew had the money to loan me. Out of desperation I called a crisis pregnancy center. I told them my situation — that I was homeless, that I had a two year old I could barely take care of, and that I was feeling pretty desperate– but they had a solution. There was a family who had built dorms on their little farm so they could offer a home to girls exactly like me. So I packed up my two-year- old and meager belongings and moved in with them.
It was there my life truly begin to change. This family had three young children of their own, one of them had Down Syndrome and Leukemia, and yet it didn’t stop them from pouring their lives into a very nasty, uneducated, beastly, selfish, messed up, trashy teenager.
I was unlovable, and yet they loved me. They led by example and their patience was supernatural.
After I was there for a little while, the ‘house mom’, Kim, told me the reason why they invested so much money and time to make themselves available for me. When she was my age she had been in the same situation, but no crisis pregnancy center or willing family had come forward to help her. So she had an abortion. This affected her so emotionally and psychologically that she swore she would do everything in her power to help other girls avoid the tragic mistake she had made. “God uses ALL THINGS for good for those who love him” (Romans 8:28)
And yet I still had the original dilemma of being pregnant and unable to parent a second child. It was then I began looking through scores of ‘portfolios’ of parents who longed for children and yet were unable to get pregnant. As a side note, I thank God for the couples who are unable to have their own biological children. That may sound callous and cold, but I do thank Him for that. How else would these ‘unwanted’ children find homes? “God uses ALL THINGS for good for those who love him” (Romans 8:28). See a pattern here?
Time moved on slowly, yet quickly. I found out I was having a son. I began to feel him move around and kick. I would lie in bed and have panic attacks thinking how close I came to ending his life. And then the doubts came in. And as he grew, my love for him grew. How could I give this little fellow away? But how could I keep him in the position I was in? I continued interviewing possible parents.
And then I heard about the Fletchers. They weren’t looking to adopt. They had already adopted a little boy. And I can’t explain why, but I needed to meet them.
I met Glenda at a park, and I knew as I walked toward her that she was supposed to be my son’s mom. I got to know them better. They loved God and loved each other, and even though I didn’t truly know God at the time, I knew that He was orchestrating this entire event and that I was absolutely doing what was pre-planned by Him.
When Aaron was born – well, what can I say? The tears are already coming again as I write this. Of course it was excruciating. Is there anything worse than the loss of a child? The nurses at the hospital were so kind. They set me up in a private room after he was born so I could avoid the eyes and cheery conversation of other new moms. At one point a nurse came in to check on me. She said, “I’ll get your son if you want to hold him. He’s still yours until tomorrow”. I shook my head ‘no’ and she seemed a little perplexed. Finally I broke down in sobs and told her that if I were to hold him in my arms I knew I could never let him go.
I went back home, empty-handed, with the family who had faithfully walked through the last seven months with me. Empty-handed, yet not empty. I had seen a glimpse of God.
Through this incident I saw the kindness, mercy and provision of Christ. I had an inkling of God’s sovereignty. It wouldn’t be for another year until I would understand obedience and of His Lordship. But God Himself had reached down and pulled me (neck deep) out of the sewage I was stuck in and began fashioning an entirely new person out of me.
And God is so kind. I wasn’t the one who picked Aaron’s parents. God was. And what a gracious choice He made. They didn’t take their new baby and run for the hills. Over the years they have faithfully sent pictures and updates. And recently they’ve brought Aaron to meet his siblings and also let us come to their own home to share a meal and let us spend time with him. And he is incredible. Indescribably incredible. My youngest son still asks me if we can ‘go get his big brother back so he can live with us’. “No, son, God made Aaron a ‘Fletcher’, but He was kind enough to let me be a part of the process”
God used an abortion to stir up a family to extend His grace to a broken desperate girl. He really does use all things for good. All things. I thank God for His goodness. I thank Him for Kim, who did not let the mistakes in her life bury her with grief or guilt, but instead she handed that tragedy back to God and let herself be used for His glory.
In my story, a baby was saved. But it goes deeper than that. Because of the love, grace and witness of others (Kim’s family) that baby’s mom (me) was also saved. And when I was saved, I began to teach my little daughter about God. And after I was married, the five children that followed also learned of God and His amazing Grace. My prayer is their children will hear the same story and glorify their Father in Heaven.
The 23rd of this month is Sanctity of Life Sunday. I’m thankful that our church, South Creek, recognizes this occasion and I pray that God will raise up others like Kim – and the Fletchers – to not only help save the lives of babies, but also to save the lives of their mothers.
Romans 6: 1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Jenefer Igarashi, Jan 17 2011
PS Two years to the very day of Aaron’s birth, God gave me my daughter, Ryann. February 26 is a very special day. That was just a very kind thing of God to do.

Snow Again!

by coie - January 10th, 2011

It snowed once the day after Christmas, and we are already getting more.  There have even been reports of Thunder Snow in Columbia.

Our front steps

Our cozy little home

Down the road...

So you can see the depth

We got up too early. We were the *only* ones outside and put our tracks all over the neighborhood.

I was cold.

When Studying Theology…

by coie - January 6th, 2011

Taken from Boyce’s Abstract of Systematic Theology.  Excellent “rules” to go by when studying theology, especially when the subject is new or uncomfortable to you.

These facts show with what spirit we should study Theology:

  1. With reverence for truth, and especially for the truth taught in the Word of God.
  2. With earnest prayer for Divine help.
  3. With careful searching of heart against prejudice.
  4. With timidity, as to the reception and propagation of new doctrine.
  5. But with a spirit willing and anxious to examine, and to accept whatever we may be convinced is true.
  6. With teachable humility, which, knowing that God has not taught us in His Word all the truth that exists, not even all the truth on many a single point, accepts with implicit faith all that He has taught, and awaits his own time for that more full revelation which shall remove all our present perplexities.

It’s Almost Christmas!

by coie - November 27th, 2010

Just a quick picture update.  I’m just happy because we got our Christmas tree up and the house is cozy.  🙂


Commissioned by God, In the Sight of God, We Speak

by coie - November 11th, 2010

14But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.    2 Corinthians 2:14-17

I had the privilege of tagging along with my hubby and the other men of Hearts for the Lost (except for one who lives in another state) last Friday.  They were going to a highschool football game to pass out gospel tracts and witness to the kids there.  Honestly, the drive over I was scared that I would be made to witness so I kept quiet and when we arrived, I made myself useful by stuffing the tracts in my jacket pocket and replenishing Matt’s handful whenever he ran low.

It was amazing to see how attentive most of these kids were when the guys started sharing the gospel.  Most had never heard it.  And the ones that thought they had heard it, were surprised when they were told they actually needed to repent of their sins and not just “believe in their heart of hearts that Jesus died for their sins”.

One young man came directly up to one of the guys, holding up a tract and asked, “What do these mean?  I keep seeing them everywhere.”  He was very thoughtful and considered everything that was told to him.  He had never thought about death, what happens afterwards, what sin is, how it affects him, etc.

I was still being a coward, when I heard a group of three boys talking behind me about how much money they had brought and how they didn’t have enough for whatever it was they wanted to get.  I pulled out a million dollar tract and said, “here, think this is enough?”  They laughed, and I started to turn around, proud that I had handed some boys a piece of paper.  Yep, I sure was courageous.  I definitely summoned up and distributed the full power of the gospel as I slipped them a tract and hoped I wouldn’t have to do more.  Meanwhile, Matt started talking and witnessing to the youngest of the group, who looked to be about 10 or 11.

But then I heard one of the other boys (named Ameliano) laugh and say that the tract was sarcastic.  Oh no, I had to do more?  I asked him what he meant and he started reading the line about how “God sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you.” and laughed.  I asked him why he thought it was sarcastic.  He asked why someone would have to die for him.  I asked if he read the other side of the tract that talked about the Ten Commandments and sin and how he was guilty.  I asked if he knew what the 10 Commandments were and he didn’t.  So I asked him if he had ever lied (yes).  Had he ever disobeyed his parents (ummmm… only ONCE and that was to get some food).  I reminded him that he had just admitted to being a liar and I was sure he had disobeyed or been disrespectful more than once in his life.  After a bit I told him that even if he had only done one of these things even once, he was guilty of breaking God’s law.  I asked if he thought he would go to Heaven when he died.  He was honest and said no.  But then he smirked and said, “Well, that’s pretty blunt.”

I asked him if it should be any other way.  If I really believed that he would be sent to Hell, shouldn’t I tell him bluntly?  I asked him if any of this concerned him and he gave a mumbled answer about how he just didn’t know, and maybe it concerned him, but is there really a God and every day in science class just messes up his head and and and. . .

I went into the character of God and His perfect holiness.  I told Ameliano that because of God’s righteousness, he could not tolerate or allow ANY sin to be in His presence.  Because of His nature, he HAS to punish any transgressors with an eternity in Hell.

It was starting to click, but it still wasn’t too big of a deal to him.  So I said very bluntly, “You are probably guilty of very gross, disgusting things.  You have done things in secret that only you know about.  Your parents don’t know, nobody knows, but you.  But guess what.  God saw it too.  He sees everything you do and he knows every thought that goes through your head.  One day you are going to stand before God and He is going to judge you for every bit of it.”

At this point, his eyes welled up and he started to bite his lip to keep it from quivering.  I continued to tell him that I was also guilty of gross, disgusting things that I am ashamed of.  I said that I will also stand before God with my sin exposed and that the absolute only hope I had was that afterwards, the only defense I had, was that I was Christ’s and that my sins were paid for in full.

I also told him that being a Christian does not mean that you say a prayer, ask Jesus into your heart and then you are covered.  It is difficult.  People will make fun of you.  It means turning from your sin and loving the things that God loves.  It does not mean that you will never sin, but you will hate sin and repent of it.  You will “abhor evil and cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9).  I asked earnestly that he would consider these things, shook his hand and let him be.  Now he is continually in my prayers.  I saw his attitude change as I spoke with him, and I can only hope that God is working in his heart.  I can do nothing more.

7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.8He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers.  1 Corinthians 3:7-9a

I love this Paul Washer quote from his sermon, Regeneration v. The Idolatry of Decisional “Evangelism” (Youtube link. You can also search SermonAudio)

We must come to grips with the fact that our Gospel is an unbelievable message. We should not expect anyone to give us a hearing, let alone believe, apart from a gracious and powerful working of God’s Spirit. How very hopeless is all our preaching apart from God’s power. How very dependant is the preacher upon God. All our evangelism is nothing more than a fool’s errand unless God moves on the hearts of men. However, he has promised to do just that, if we faithfully preach the Gospel.

Let us go to Ezekiel 37:1-10.

“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, {there were} very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, {they were} very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.’ ” So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.’”” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army”.

I have just described the conversion of men. When you go out to preach you are always an Ezekiel. You are always standing in a valley of dead bones, and behold they are very dry. In the time of Ezekiel there was no technique to bring life into lifeless bone. The marrow had completely dried out of these skeletons, they were nothing but dust. There was no technique, there was no persuasion, there was no power, there was nothing humanly-speaking that could be done to bring these bones to life. That is evangelism. And you do well to learn it now. That is evangelism.

Please pray for the souls of all who heard the gospel that night.

It is God that writes intercession upon men’s hearts. All true prayer comes from Him, but especially that least selfish and most Christ-like form of prayer called intercession—when the suppliant forgets all about himself and his own needs—and all his pleading, his tears and his arguments are on behalf of others.  Charles Spurgeon

Why I Choose to Believe the Bible

by coie - November 2nd, 2010

So somebody asks you what you believe about an issue.  You give them your answer.  Next question: why do you believe that way?  Because the Bible says ______ about it.  And then the question that ends the conversation with you feeling defeated and your challenger with more reason to not believe the Bible (unless you can actually give a satisfactory answer): And why do you choose to believe the Bible?  What is your answer?  This video is definitely worth your time whether you believe or not.  It is about 45 minutes and broken into 5 clips.  Please let me know your thoughts.


Happy Reformation Day!

by coie - November 1st, 2010

(One day late)

But don’t complain– at least I’m blogging.  I’m really just showing off my handiwork.  Enjoy.  And read about Reformation Day.  And memorize the Five Solas.  😀  No really, do it.

Yes, I made 98% of those costumes.

Don't mess with us. Or our castle.

Just kidding, we're pretty friendly.

And we're still honeymooning...

Oh, and one more thing.  I highly recommend “Family Driven Faith” by Voddie Baucham.

Update: I Live

by coie - September 15th, 2009

In accordance with the spreading rumor, I’ve pretty much given up on blogging.  I’ve been sucked into the Facebook crowd and therefore find it redundant and tiresome to post my life on here.  However, there are a select few that either do not have Facebook or occasionally pester me, questioning my lack of blogging.  Well, people… I’ve been busy, I say.

So I guess to fill in some gaps, I can give a quick rundown of what’s happened since May.  Lots of conventions, meeting up with friends and family, quitting my job at Home Depot, taking a crazy family trip to California which included a broken trailer which had to be loaded by hand onto a U-Haul car hauling trailer, a transmission that went kaput and wonderful friends that allowed us to borrow their vehicle so we could complete our journey, and the U-Haul trailer tire blowing out 4 hours from home.  The most exciting piece of news is meeting and entering into a courtship with Matt Watson of South Carolina….I’ll definitely have to write out that story when I’ve got more time, because it’s pretty amazing and is just another part of my life where I can see God’s hand working throughout.

Alrighty, how’s that?