Saturday, February 20, 2010

awarded...

i was chosen by my blogworld friend, whitney, at the king and i, to post 6 things i am a master at.

this ought to be interesting. :o) can "very good at" count?

let's see...

* i am a master at doing the laundry. or at least my family thinks i am, because they let me do all of it myself.

* i am a master at never finding jeans that truly fit. even when i think they do and buy them, i get them home and they don't fit a week later.

* i am a master at being frugal. i will make my family go without ice cream if it's not buy-one-get-one free WITH a coupon. or two.

* i am a master lurker. i read blogs but rarely post.

* i am a master at teaching early childhood. it's my passion.

* i am a master at doing nothing. i love to sit and decompress. and sleep.

now, i'm going to take it a step further...here are things i wish i was a master at...

* i wish i was a master at getting enough sleep.

* i wish i was a master at getting enough exercise.

* i wish i was a master at being more loving and forgiving.

* i wish i was a master at knowing my Master.

* i wish i was a master at not stressing out.

* i wish i was a master of mustard seed faith.

so...your turn! what are YOU a master at? and what do you wish you did more/better?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

not by human power...

in galatians, i noticed an underlying theme...not by human power. of course this runs through most of the bible, but it really stood out to me in the following verses...

"paul, an apostle- sent not with a human commission nor by human authority, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father..." ch. 1 vs. 1...not by human power.

" and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age..." ch. 1 vs. 3-4...not by human power.

"i want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel i preached is not of human origin. i did not receive it from any human source, nor was i taught it; rather, i received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." ch. 1 vs. 11-12...not by human power.

"but when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that i might preach him among the Gentiles..." ch. 1 vs. 15-16...not by human power.

"for God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles." ch. 2 vs. 8...not by human power.

"so we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." ch.2 vs. 16... not by human power.

"i have been crucified with Christ and i no longer live but Christ lives in me." ch. 2 vs. 20...not by human power.

"after beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?" ch.3 vs.3...not by human power.

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us..." ch.3 vs.13...not by human power.

"...for if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law." ch. 3 vs.22...not by human power.

"...for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." ch.3 vs. 27...not by human power.

"...God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts..." ch.4 vs. 6...not by human power.

"his son by the slave woman was born as a result of human effort, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise." ch.4 vs. 23...not by human power.

"...that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be no value to you at all." ch.5 vs. 2...not by human power.

"so i say walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." ch.5 vs. 16...not by human power.

"since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." ch.5 vs. 25...not by human power.

"may i never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and i to the world." ch.5 vs. 14...not by human power.

wow.

it is very evident that...

i am weak and He is strong.
i need thee every hour.
nothing but the blood of Jesus.
i am mine no more.

help me, Lord, to let you reign and to let your Spirit work in me. for without you, i am nothing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

i have to believe...

heard this song today and immediately saw the haitian people in my mind...

I have to believe
He sees my darkness,
I have to believe
He knows my pain,
I have to lift up
my hands to worship,
worship his name...

I have to declare
that He is my refuge,
I have to deny
that I am alone,
I have to lift up
my eyes to the mountains,
that's where my help,
it comes from...

He said that He's forever faithful
He said that He's forever true
He said that He can move mountains
If He can move mountains
He can move my mountain, He can move your mountain, too...

I have to stand tall
when the wind blows me over,
I have to stand strong
when I'm weak and afraid,
I have to grab hold,
a hold of the garments, the garments of praise

He said that He's forever faithful
He said that He's forever true
He said that He can move mountains
If he can move mountains
He can move my mountain, He can move your mountain, too..

I have to sing praise
when the hour is midnight,
He unlocks these chains
that bind up my soul,
my sin and my shame he has forgiven
and made me whole

He said that He's forever faithful
He said that He's forever true
He said that He can move mountains
If he can move mountains
He can move my mountain, He can move your mountain, too..

He's got everything under control
I have to believe...
Lord I believe, help my unbelief
I have to believe in you,
I have to believe...


{rita springer}

Thursday, February 11, 2010

not without you...

i've been following the blog of a family in the process of bringing their adopted son home from haiti via humanitarian parole, and the struggles they faced getting him to the united states. after the young boy was denied a flight to the u.s. on a c-17 because of missing paperwork, his father decided to go to haiti and get him. it proved to be a long enduring week as the two of them slept on the floor of the embassy and dealt with the legal bureaucracy of paperwork.

my heart cried out to God for them as i followed his updates and his frustration. he mentioned that each day his son would ask, "we go home now?" and his answer was no. and then his son would ask, "you go home now?" and he would answer, "not without you".

this story made me think about the father-child relationship. our Father-child relationship.

not without you. our Father would go to the ends of the earth to be with us, to get us, to bring us back.

"for this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them...I will rescue them from all the places where they were scatttered on a day of clouds and darkness." ezekiel 34:11-12

"...but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him." luke 15:20

our Father is waiting for us. our Father is waiting with us.

"the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 peter 3:9

"the Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night." psalm 121:5-6

our Father fought the battle for us and won.

"and having disarmed the the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." colossians 2:15

He loves us so so so much.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

like a child...

video

our youngest child and only daughter told me one night at bedtime a few weeks ago that she thought she was ready to be baptized...but she wasn't sure she was ready.

"why do you think you aren't ready?" i asked.

through tears, she says, "because i don't know everything and i'm not sure i can be good enough..."

aren't you glad we don't have to know everything? if baptism and forgiveness were a test, we'd never pass, no matter how hard we tried.

aren't you glad that we don't have to be good enough? if it was about being good enough, we'd never get that right, either.

i told her that we are always learning more about God, and that it's because we aren't good enough and can't be that we need God's forgiveness...and i told her the fact that she was taking this so seriously showed that she was ready.

and He said, " truly i tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. therefore, whoever takes a humble place- becoming like this child- is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." matthew 18:3-4

Monday, February 8, 2010

lost...

also in soul graffiti, mark scandrette proposes "experiments" at the end of each chapter. here is one that piqued my interest...

most of us have looked around the religious landscape and wondered, "why can't it be different than it is?" on a sheet of paper, brainstorm ten words you would use to describe your dream faith community. if you can imagine it, maybe it can happen. what can you do to take the first step to initiate it?

maybe i like lists (well, i know that i like lists), so i immediately made a list. i also was curious as to what ten words would come to mind first.

sharing.
giving.
faith-filled.
fearless.
focussed.
open.
community-building.
loving.
ethereal.
humble.
hospitable.

funny, looking back at this list (which i made over a week ago), i now have new words come to mind...

forgiving.
spirit-filled.
embracing.
teaching.
feeding.
helping.
caring.
worshipping.
patient.

when i think about my list, i realize that the list i created is what i want myself to be.

imagine if what we all wanted from our church, WE, the church, were willing to live. every day. with no fear, only faith.

"for whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." matthew 16:25

let's get lost.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

living...

i just finished reading soul graffiti by mark scandrette, and these thoughts of his caught my attention...

"our society's preoccupation with celebrity can often make us feel the best of life is happening somewhere else...it can be tempting to live vicariously through the experiences of others. in a media-drenched culture you run the risk of knowing more about someone you've never lived met than someone you live with, or the somebody that you are... sometimes we become paralyzed by thinking of what might have been...a sense of scarcity fuels our jealousies and insecurities, and inhibits us from receiving the gifts of creation with gratefulness...the journey back to God involves recovery of our sense of abundance and trust in the Creator's provision. we choose whether to be ruled by wanting or thankfulness."

i have found myself spending too much time reading blogs about other's lives and feeling like i've missed something in mine, feeling like maybe i haven't heeded God's calling. that maybe there's more i should be doing. feelings of longing and maybe even guilt...

yet i know that i am where i am in my life right now because of God. that He placed me where i am for a reason.

so i declare this week a no-blog-reading week. i need to step away from the lives of others and focus on my own. and my family. and things on my heart.

i will be posting, just not reading. for this week.

but i do love you all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

no fear, only faith...

these verses spoke to me recently in a way like never before...

"anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on a solid rock. thought the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the wind beats against that house, it won't collapse because it is build on bedrock. but anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. when the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash."

you know, i always read this parable and thought, "oh yes, because i chose jesus, i will be ok. when things get 'bad' i will have Him to lean on." that's ok, but think of it this way...

He says whoever listens and follows His teachings...not just chooses Him. action. like the verses that say, "prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. don't just say to each other ' we are safe'...yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire." matthew 3:8-10

then think about this...i think when He talks of the rain, the floods, the wind...He's not talking about just physical stuff like illness and joblessness and money and marriage problems that come at us. i think He's speaking directly to our fear and faithlessness. He's telling me if i listen and follow His teachings and obey Him and let His Spirit lead me, then when the questions of "what if" and "how will we" and "what will people think" come into our minds, we can know what we built on. and that it is enough.

worries plus wealth equals no fruit.