Princess to Speed Racer: You smell like poo-poo.
Speed Racer to Princess: No, flowers.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
As I was sitting in church today, I knew that I would write a blog post about why I love church and try to appeal to my friends and readers who for whatever reason do not go to church.
There is something truly heavenly about being in a place surrounded by people who mostly believe the same things as you do about God and His plan and about singing your heart out to Him while surrounded by others who are doing the same. It is truly magnificent and if you do not get to experience this, I believe you are missing out on something wonderful - a real treat. The only cost on your part is perhaps getting out of bed earlier than you would like, getting dressed, and driving to a nearby place of worship. Truly, I believe that if you weighed the cost, you would do anything to be in a church on a regular basis, just because it is so good, so wonderful, so worth it. Now I believe strongly that we are responsible for spending time with God daily on a regular basis and that going to church does not in anyway make up for the time you are to be spending with Him daily. Church, instead, is an added bonus to the time you make with Him on your own.
If you are a child of God, then you will love the things of God. You will love singing to Him. You will love reading about Him or at least learning more about Him if you are not a reader. He is Your Delight. All of us, even followers, fall away from Him from time to time. We lose sight of the blessedness we have with Him, and sometimes, He, Himself, seems to withdraw from us. In other words, there are times that these things delight us more than at other times.
If you are in a church where God is alive and active, you allow yourself to be blessed by other men and women who love God and allow God to work through these people. When you do not go to church, I believe you miss out by not being a part of the working body of Christ - the people who make up His body. There are many biblical reasons to go to church, of which I can lay out if you would like. Today, I only appeal to you through my strong love of the church in hopes that you too would want to experience what I experience every Sunday.
I recognize that some of you stopped going to church because you were hurt or you were hurting and no one noticed. All of us ache regularly. We all need to ache regularly, so God can show us His mercies, which are new everyday. You may have been burned by a "hypocrite." Let me say that all of us are hypocrites at some time or another. Have you ever met a perfect Christian? I have not. More than likely, we will hurt one another. I know that all of us can come up with lists of excuses and reasons why we need not do something we really don't want to do, and usually, those reasons are well rehearsed in our minds.
Most of the time, it is not really about them - the other people, that is. It is something deep with us between you and God and how you relate to Him. Life cannot be lived holding other people responsible. You are responsible for you and you alone. You are responsible for your response to God. Maybe the grudge you've carried has kept you from many blessings that He desired for you - one of which would be being around other believers at church. Maybe it is you who needs to forgive. I don't deny you that someone may have sinned against you, but ultimately, it is about You and God! Always remember this - it should and will shape everything you do in life.
Trust me, I have been hurt, and I could choose not to go to church as a result. I know for a fact though, that I would be missing out on a heavenly blessing. Church is for the most part a safe place to be. You can laugh, you can cry, you can be real in your struggles with life, and you can and will (if you allow it) experience healing by learning what He desires for you.
Next week when you are deciding what to do with your weekend, I encourage you to think about getting up a little early and finding a church to go to. You will know if God is there. You will not be able to miss Him. And if He is there, that's the best place to be.
I would love for you to join me at my home - sweet Valleydale Church.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I am very behind on my blogs, and I have no idea why I cannot seem to find time to blog like I always did before. On Sept 9th, Princess started preschool at our church. She was very excited and has loved every minute of being there. She is in a class with 2 other girls and 8 boys! She is slowly learning all of the other kids and loves her teacher, Ms. Melanie. I think Princess is developmentally on track, but preschool will be very good for her social development. I guess we tend not to believe in getting involved in too many activities too early - (she's gonna be 4 in Dec), there is plenty of time for exploring other activities and getting busy as she gets older. Currently, I am jealous for the time I have with my children. I don't always feel as if I spend it wisely, but I know that it is short, even more so now. Speed Racer was very sad that Princess started to preschool. He has always been around her and misses her, but he is adapting, and we are having fun together. Hopefully, I am able to focus on teaching him some skills he needed to work on, like ABC recognition and obedience in the grocery store. :)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thank you for my sweet children! I choose to remain simple and pray the children's memory verses over them: Lord, I ask that you would continue to show them that "God's way is perfect" (Psalm 18:30). I pray also that they would "obey [their] parents in the Lord for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1). I pray that they would know that they "can do all things through Christ" (Philippians 4:13).
You are awesome and Holy, and I thank You for being You, and for loving each us so abundantly. You are amazing!
I so desire to instill in the children God's word. John Piper said on his facebook page today, "The most influential people in the world are those who pray big in Jesus' name. The second most influential are mothers." And while I believe mothers to be very influential, I am a sinner. What I say and do is not always the greatest example for my children. I hope that those things are burned away and do not carry an influence to them. Not only that, but my example may not resonate in my children in the end, but what will be able to stand the test of time is God's Word. It is absolute truth. It is alive and active, a double edged sword. It is authority. It is able to guide the conscience like nothing else can. It is God's very word. Who is all powerful? Who sees all? Who knows all? The Lord our God. And His Words, though written by men, are as powerful as He his. I am nothing, but He is everything in influencing my children. But yes, may I always learn to pray big in his name.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Our pastor has a herniated disk, so he has been unable to preach the last couple of weeks. We had a guest speaker yesterday named Dan Hall. He said something, which to me, was profound, at least in the way that he said it. And since I am just going to share the Word he was preaching from and the profound statement, it may not be as profound to you, but it was major to me. And the Scriptures called out to me in a new way - funny how the Scripture is so alive and true. I hope it speaks to you...
"Immediately, he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.' And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened." Mark 6:45-52This is what Dan said: It was the disciples who were afraid of the wind and of seeing Christ walking on the water. We all at some point have storms in our lives. In fact, my own pastor, Calvin Kelly says often, "You are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or about to go through a crisis." How do you weather the storms of life?
This is what was to me profound. This is what I wrote down:
"God was doing something different to fix the problem (than what the disciples expected Him to do.) The disciples assumed He did not care because He was not doing the same things they were doing and because He was not doing what they expected Him to do."
You see Jesus had commanded them to get into the boat and go to the other side. He then prayed, and then was going to walk across the water on ahead of them to the other side. Right before this they had witnessed Jesus feed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, but their hearts were still too hard to recognize that it was only because He was the Son of God that He was able to perform a miracle to feed the 5,000. They focused on the miracle not on who He was. So in the storm, they were afraid.
In the storms of life, Lord, let me trust You and fix my eyes on You no matter what Your solution is!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I am participating in the Alabama Bloggers football carnival because I want to represent what I believe to be the best team. I married an Alabama man, and I was born into a mixed AU/AL marriage. I rarely bring up football on my blog, unlike my friend, Josh, who's blog tends to focus on our wonderful team and his unwavering optimism of its abilities. I love Auburn. I love the school. I love the football team. I love almost everything about it. It was my home away from home for four years, and where I grew closer to Christ and made many friends. It is a place of precious memories for me, even though I got my major in civil engineering, which I no longer use, and studied for long hard hours to make grades that were often less than satisfying.
Auburn men and women are Auburn men and women for life. Most fans are people who went to school and graduated there, who found community and character there while they earned their degree. The sense of the school is summed up in the Auburn Creed:
I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn.
Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.
I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and
trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.
I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which
I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.
I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid,
and in clean sports that develop these qualities.
I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.
I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with
my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.
I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God."
And because Auburn men and women believe in these things,
I believe in Auburn and love it.
-George Petrie (1945)
I have been struggling for quite some time with a person in my life who seems to be perfect. This summer I read, "The Friendships of Women" by Dee Brestin, and it really helped me see that my thoughts on friendships are quite normal and so are my struggles and desire for more intimate friendships. It helped me move past my hangups though this is still very much a place of struggle for me. I often feel defeated by the aforementioned person's seeming perfection. However, I know that she cannot be as perfect as she seems. No one could be as close to God on this side of eternity as it seems she is. I am waiting upon God to tell me if she is a person to let go of or to continue to bear burdens with. But, she has caused me to examine myself, and for transparency's sake, these are what I believe to be true about me:
- I am not an expert on anything
- I am not perfect
- I am a sinner
- I mess up every day
- I need God in my life desperately
- I am still blessed in my position in life despite my imperfection
- In my weakness and need, He is strong within me
- I must become more humble and generous in my ability to meet the needs of others
- There must must must be less of me and more of Him
"When your own needs for intimacy are being met, it's easy to slide into complacency concerning the needs of others. If a newcomer does come [to a bible study], she senses the group's intimacy and feels like an outsider looking in. How diligent we must be to pray for the love of Christ to continually flow through us so that we continue to reach out to those newcomers with hearty welcomes when they arrive, along with extending invitations for coffee, and affirming emails. Likewise, we need Christ to touch our eyes so that we see women as He does."Though I desire intimacy, I rarely reach out to form intimacy with a newcomer and I want to turn this around for Christ, which means I must die and He must live. I must strive to do that which makes me uncomfortable. "Our dependence should be on God alone - for only He is without sin, and only He will never let us down" (The Friendships of Women, p. 176). There is no friend like the friend you have in Christ - none. This reminds me of the old hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Enjoy!