Thursday, August 27, 2009

Am I a Proud or a Broken Person toward others?

From Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book, "Brokenness: The Heart God Revives."

  1. PROUD PEOPLE FOCUS ON THE FAILURES OF OTHERS AND CAN READILY POINT OUT THOSE FAULTS. **Broken people are more conscious of their own spiritual need than of anyone else's.
  2. PROUD PEOPLE HAVE A CRITICAL, FAULT-FINDING SPIRIT. THEY LOOK AT EVERYONE ELSE'S FAULTS WITH A MICROSCOPE BUT VIEW THEIR OWN WITH A TELESCOPE. **Broken people are compassionate - they have the kind of love that overlooks a multitude of sins; they can forgive because they know how much they have been forgiven.
  3. PROUD PEOPLE ARE ESPECIALLY PRONE TO CRITICIZE THOSE IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY - THEIR PASTOR, THEIR BOSS, THEIR HUSBAND, THEIR PARENTS - AND THEY TALK TO OTHERS ABOUT THE FAULTS THEY SEE. **Broken people reverence, encourage, and lift up those that God has placed in positions of authority, and they talk to God in intercession, rather than gossiping about the faults they see in others.
  4. PROUD PEOPLE ARE SELF-RIGHTEOUS; THEY THINK HIGHLY OF THEMSELVES AND LOOK DOWN ON OTHERS. **Broken people think the best of others; they esteem others as better than themselves.
  5. PROUD PEOPLE HAVE AN INDEPENDENT, SELF-SUFFICIENT SPIRIT. **Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for God and for others.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Said by Princess

Today we were driving home from the park, and Princess said, "Mommy, what do squid eat?"
Me: "I'm not sure - plankton or sea bugs or something like that maybe. I don't know."
Princess pauses a few minutes, and then: "Mommy, we should ask God. He will know what squid like to eat."

Yes, indeed, God knows. I love it!


It is so funny how God works. For some time now, God has been working behind the scenes in me on selfishness, humility, and pride. I blogged about it briefly in one of my posts, but I don't remember which one now. God has been dealing with it so much so that I felt called to write a bible study about it. I had this nagging feeling about it. I did a little research about it, but not too much. I kinda thought about it, yet I did not let it persist me either. Two weeks ago, God had me outline the study I was to write.

In all of the persistence (read sarcastically) I mentioned earlier, I checked out a book from the library six weeks ago called, "Brokenness: The Heart God Revives" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I finally finished reading it today because it is due tomorrow. (Just keeping it real!) It is an awesome, highly recommended read. You will definitely get something out of it, and it is a short book. However, you might want to take longer to savor it than I did. I mentioned my desire to write this study to my accountability partner, and she directed me to some other resources that came to her mind on humility.

This book and her resources seem to confirm that I go ahead with the time and effort of writing a bible study. How odd and strange, as even though I love to study Scripture, I don't find myself altogether qualified or capable of writing a study for anyone to actually study - not to mention one on pride and humility - who reallys wants to submit to that? :) I keep telling myself that this study will be written for me, and so I believe it to be. And to be quite frank, I am not one to finish something of this magnitude on my own. With that said, I feel that I must continue to be broken before you - humble to bring repentance before you in truthfulness. And I will be sharing a series of surveys from the "Brokenness" book about the way you can inventory your heart and determine whether you are prideful or broken.

Below are some quotes I enjoyed from the book:

"Again and again, God's Word reveals that he is not as concerned about the depth or extent of the sin we commit as he is about our attitude and response when we are confronted with our sin." p.65

p. 67 she notes the anguish of soul one must feel

"It is in His very nature to be repulsed by pride and to draw near to those who have a humble, broken spirit." p. 68

"I believe one of the reasons that so many people live with chronic loneliness is that they are unwilling to die." p. 104

"True Christian community, as Pastor Ray Ortlund described it, is something few believers ever experience, because it requires that each individual let go of "self" and pour out his life on behalf of others." p. 105

A Call to Anguish

A friend posted this on facebook. Brokenness and humility are what God keeps trying to teach me, and when I am faithful to dig, he has me searching the Scripture for these things. This stirred my heart, so I wanted to post on here.

The Crippled Lamb

It's been a while since I've done a book review, and today I read this little book to Princess.
It seems it was written especially for me.
It is about a lamb who is crippled and often feels left out and alone.
But it turns out that God has a special plan for the lamb because he is different.
This is a message I think we all need to hear,
and is especially important to teach children
because children always seem to go through periods of insecurities.
All of us were created with a weakness.
And God can use us through our weakness for His glory.
But I think I liked this little reminder today more than sweet Princess.
I loved this little book.

"Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God." 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, The Message
Oh, amen to that passage.

New Verses to Memorize

I have not been faithful to post my scripture memory verses on here lately. But I have a new accountability partner, and she is helping me get back in the groove. I have found that summer has kept me busy, and I like being busy, so much so that now that the busyness of summer is gone, I am bored and unsure how to manage my time with the kids. One of the things I have decided to do to stay on task is to get Princess to memorize her verses while I memorize mine.

Princess's verse to work on:
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Ephesians 6:1 (sung to This Little Light of Mine)
If we sing this much, I think Speed Racer will learn it too.

My verse:
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Psalm 84:2

Monday, August 24, 2009

Praying for their Footsteps

Father God,
Thank you for my children.
Let Speed Racer grow as Jesus did, in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52)
I pray that Princess will enjoy good health and that all will go well with him. (3 John 2)
Cause Princess and Speed Racer to be devoted to one another in brotherly love, honoring one another above themselves. (Romans 12:10)
I pray that Princess and Speed Racer would both confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord, and that each one would believe in his own heart that you have raised Christ from the dead. Cause Princess and Speed Racer to call on your name, Lord, and save him. (Romans 10:9, 13)

I praise You for Your Goodness and Your Glory, Father.
You are Holy.
By You and Through You ALL things were created.
There is no one above You.

Comfort Zone

Last Friday, I drove the kids to mom's house to visit with her and my grandparents. As I was driving, I really felt like I the "summer vacation" of my mind was over, and now would be the time to crank out some more blogs. I had a myriad of posts running through my mind as I drove.

When I first started blogging, the blog world was a safe place to be. I could write my heart out, and not too many people would be reading it. I certainly wanted to be read, but at the same time, if I wrote or said something crazy, I was not worried about too many people reading it. I had very little going on in my life in the way of relationships, so in a sense, I had nothing to lose. I sent the link to my friends, but I did not have many close friends, and the ones I did have were not interested in reading my heart cries on this blog. That was a little disappointing, but at the same time, I just kept writing away and trying to minister to someone else in a similar life circumstance - hoping without ever knowing that this blog reaches someone for Christ. I put my name in blog circles and waited and still not much happened. But somewhere along the way, people started reading.

I was thinking about how I feel somewhat of a celebrity for anyone to want to read my blog, and I know I don't have as many readers as a big time blog would. Being someone who prefers to be behind the scenes, this is a little funny to me - seeking to achieve blog readership yet wanting to be unknown - how can the two coexist right? And my church has started a blog, Valleydale Church blog, and it links to my blog, so suddenly I feel a little shy as you might go to church with me and know me, but I may not know you. *sigh* Regardless, I am just Jamie, a simple girl, who sees God in big ways in small things - one little reminder that God finds significances in things and people who seem sorta insignificant - like me and maybe like you. You are significant and important to God. You are loved by Him with the deepest love imaginable, and as I seek Him, I will continue to pour out my heart and step out of my comfort zone. So more blogs and thoughts to come soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Family Pictures

My family and I recently had some pictures taken by a friend, Sarah Cook. Sarah goes to church with us, and she just started her own photography business, Cookwire Photography. We wanted to take advantage of her 50% off sale that she has going on this month, so we met her at Aldridge Gardens this past Saturday.

She posted some pictures of us on her blog. She is a phenomenal photographer, and I thought you would enjoy seeing a few of our photos. If you are in the area and need some photos, she's your gal. You will enjoy getting to know her. Not only are her photos phenomenal, but she is too. She is a wife and mom to three children, one who has autism. If you need any more information about autism, she has several resources listed here.

A New Nickname for Pea

I have thought long and hard for a new nickname for Pea. He just isn't a pea anymore, and he certainly isn't a princess though he plays with them just like Princess does. If this is weird, well, try telling a brother and sister not to share and see what happens and then try telling them that this stuff is one's and this stuff is the others - chaos ensues, so for now, he plays with Princess dolls too, but in a totally different way.

Back to my point. I have given him a new nickname - a few were tossed around - Pockets, Mr. Pea, Prince, Bug, and probably a few I am forgetting. Now, the name I have chosen is perfect - it fits his personality to a tee. However, it is not truly a label I would like to give my little Pea. Pea is a much safer, friendlier name. Especially considering that my brother and father in law (and less frequently my husband) race go-karts, and I would prefer that no child of mine continue in this tradition. I am none to happy thinking of sending my son riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle to come home lucky to be alive as did my mother in law with my brother in law. Nor would I prefer to see my son go off to war. That being said, a lot of the things my children do or become will be in my control, but a lot will not, and I will ultimately leave them in the safest hands imaginable just as I said in my Psalm 139 prayer. God is the one who holds my children in His hands, in His care, in His safety at all times. I can do my job as a parent, but He is the ultimate parent, seeking and searching for each one in ways that I can never do. So I am hoping not to write his future by the name I've picked and entrust that someday he will need yet another new nickname, because he has slowed down (truly I can't imagine it, but still). What's the nickname you ask - Speed Racer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bullying and Whispering

Well, the summer has flown by, and since my kids are not in school yet, it still seems like summer for me. While I have a myriad of posts that I would like to write about and catch up on, it would simply just keep me hiding away in this house with no new blog posts, SO once again, I'm just gonna start with where I am today.

Princess is having potty troubles again, and Pea has started hitting, bullying, and beating up the big boys on the playground. All at only 2 years of age. This is quite a conundrum for a mother. While I am sure there is humor in both situations, I really just want to pull my hair out and scream, "Why me?" But alas, God does have a purpose, if not His own divine sense of humor, that is for me and these little crazies. Just today, we met some friends from church at Chick-fil-a for a breakfast playdate. Well, let me back up to say that hubby and I took the kids to Chick-fil-a over the weekend, where Pea proceeded to hit a little baby girl while in the playground where we could not see him (of course), so neither one of us really knew what had happened. We tried to assume the best, but mentally I was thinking my baby has beaten another baby up.

So back to today, we go and of course, I seemed to be the only mother who had to pay absolute attention to every detail her kids were doing. I mean, my kids seemed to be the only hoodlums there. I am sure all the other mommies were having delightful conversations none of which I was able to participate in for very long. First, Pea clung to me. Then he got stuck, and he seriously, did not know what to do without Princess in the playplace with him. Princess had decided she was not ready to play yet. Finally, she goes in there, and they proceed to act a fool in the playplace. Then Pea hits a boy. I have no idea if it was provoked or not. None at all, but what I proceeded to see was shocking. Little boy who is actually bigger than both Pea AND Princess proceeds to try to hit my son back, so Princess steps in front of Pea and hits Little Boy. Then they proceeded to get in a toddler brawl. Mom of Little Boy and I rushed into the playarea to stop said brawl. Oh. My. Word! What! Just. Happened?

Never fear there was discipline. I am going to have to search the bible for a verse against hitting and for peacemaking. However, when I told hubby about it, he was a proud papa and acted as though it was the best thing that ever happened. Well not really, sorta, but he seriously, told me not to tell Princess "not to hit back" as I had said.

The afternoon was filled with frustrating potty experiences and me thinking God must have forsaken me. Hubby came home. I whipped up a fast unplanned dinner, and then he and Pea went to the store, and Princess and I took a walk. It was a very delightful walk, as she is very fun to talk too. She said that the wind lives in the clouds, but that God decided when to open the door for the wind and when to close the door, so that's how it gets windy. And that God likes to color and do crafts. I said yes, He does. He colors everything we see and even our hearts. We talked about strange things like the road being old and its cracks and how everything needs renewing from time to time (like getting new pavement and a new heart from God).

Then we came home and read Goldilocks and the Three Bears. When we heard our boys get home we turned the lights out and hid in the dark living room. Neither one of my kids like the dark very much, so Princess said, "But it's scary." And I said, "But I am here." Princess: "Oh, yeah, it's not so scary like this." (huddled together) And then the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, "Remember that - I am with you always even when it seems scary. What do you have to be afraid of with me?" I suppose that means even when my kids are acting afool, bullying, and mothers are looking at me as if I am the scum of the earth. Yes, even then, He is with me. How wonderful is that!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Praying for their Footsteps

If you haven't noticed, the blog has been quiet here. Maybe it's because I've been busy this summer, or maybe it's because I've felt more peace in my soul, or because there are some things you want to blog about but you just cannot. At any rate, my home has been so much more peaceful since deciding to follow Him in mission to Arizona. The crazy problems we were having with Princess seem to have somewhat resolved. Yes, she is still emotional at times, but in the normal scheme of things, not in an overwhelming-I'm-not-sure-how-to-deal-with-this kind of way. I don't have a real dramatic story, but God uses us in whatever our story is. It IS dramatic to Him, because each one of us is oh so special to Him (no intent to sing the Special Agent Oso theme song there). I am praising Him for the changes I have seen in my family since I've started posting my prayers here and since my family has pursued Him in mission together.

Today I want to share a prayer of praise, peace, and trust for myself and the kids from Psalm 34:1-14.

O Lord, I pray that I will bless You at all times; that your praise would be continually in my mouth. I pray that I would teach both Princess and Pea to do the same as they get older.
My soul boasts in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
May my children delight in hearing praises to You, O Lord.
May Princess, Pea, and all you reading, join with me in magnifying His name.
Let all of us exalt His name together.
(Think of the good things He has done for you.)

I sought You, and You answered me
and continue to deliver me from all my fears, especially in regards to my family.
Those who look to You are radiant (including my family from time to time)
and our faces (in your radiance) will never be ashamed.
I cried out and You heard me and saved me.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear You, and You deliver them.

Oh, my readers, Princess, Pea, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, continue to fear Him all who know Him,
for those who do lack for nothing.
Young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek You lack no good thing!

Come, Princess, Pea, listen to me as I tell you His words
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Lord, keep my tongue and Princess's and Pea's tongue from evil
and our lips from speaking deceit.
May the children and I turn away from evil and do good;
seeking peace and pursuing it!


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