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Friday, July 16, 2010

Blogging Hiatus

This will be my last blog for a little while, as I'm off  on vacation this week and next weekend is my big conference. Please pray for me and my family as we travel, and that God would reveal himself and his will to me at the conference. Please pray that I make some connections with people who might be "useful to me in my ministry" (2 Timothy 4:11).
Pray that the feedback that I receive whether from the speaker evaluation group or the publishers would be constructive, and if the publishers are not in the market for a devotional at this time, that they might give me some tips on how to change it into something a publisher would like, such as a Christian living book. Pray for God's boldness as I speak, that God would give me the words to say and the smoothness and ease of voice to say them. Pray that I might be able to also show my magazine article, that Fullfill magazine wanted to publish but had not room for, to another magazine company that might be interested.
Pray for my husband and my children, that, in the midst of God's movement, find things to do and don't drive each other crazy!
I can't wait to share with you all that God is doing in my next post. But, until then....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Learning how to be Generous

My son and daughter teach me about generosity every day. Recently, my son received some stickers from a friend. He stared for a while at the small white papers adorned with colorful rockets and floating astronauts and stared at it for a little while. Then, without another thought, tapped me on the shoulder while I was cooking dinner. As I turned to face him, he placed two rockets on my sweatshirt and said "for you." In a similar fashion, my daughter split her peanut butter and jelly sandwich in half and handed me one. They don't think twice about giving to me or my husband, but it wasn't always that way.
My children needed to learn generosity in the same way that we need to learn how to be contrary to our nature and be generous. How do we learn that? By extending generosity.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Perfect Outfit 2

I took out my high school graduation dress with a vision. It had been 10 years since my last days as a high school student, and that dress instantly flooded me with memories of prom, Spanish class and the big "boat"  known as the driver's ed. car. I put it on, and to my surprise, it fit.
It was going to be a good day.
That was, of course, until I heard a small #rip# that turned these great memories into instant regret.
I tried with all my might, contorting my body in so many ways to get it off  I would have made the Ringling Bros. applaud with delight.
Frantic, I grabbed the kitchen shears from the knife block and began chipping away. In what seemed like a second, my dress was shredded into  a million pieces, and with it my hopes.
The question I want to ask you, reader, is this: Why was I so adamant about wearing this dress?
Was it because I still liked the dress and thought it would be a nice addition to the week's sunday service?
Or, were my priorities in the wrong place and God, in His grace, was teaching me a lesson?
I was focusing on the wrong thing.
If I had put my hope in God and not in what I looked like, or what the dress symbolized, the fact that I had to take the kitchen shears to it would not have disappointed me so much.
For me to put that dress on only to achieve bragging rights would not have encouraged me or anyone else that came my way that day.
It was a lesson in humility I have not forgotten, and probably won't for a long time.
Are your eyes focused on the wrong things today?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Perfect Outfit

Have you ever searched at the back of your closet to find that one favorite outfit you have been thinking of wearing, only to find it doesn't fit quite as you had hoped? You stretch it and contort your body in a million different ways to still not achieve that look you wanted.
That's how I feel about the Christian life.
I stretch and strain trying to conform to Christlikeness, and when I feel like I have been bent out of shape, I find I am still far away from my goal.
I still have more to do and more to not do.
Sometimes I need a spiritual diet.
The one thing I do notice is that the closer I do get to my Christlike character, the less desire I have for stuff I want, and more desire for what He wants.
It also means I don't desire the "junk" anymore.
It gets me one step closer to choosing the "clothes" that the Bible speaks of: humility, compassion and gentleness.
Those fit me just right.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Be a peacemaker

I have been challenged lately with the concept of being a peacemaker. What does that mean? Does it mean not saying anything and letting conflict blow over? Does it mean confronting in love and challenging someone to move forward from their present state into christlikeness? Does it mean being aggressive and prideful and arrogant and showing someone  who's "boss?"
I have had some of these opportunities recently. Instead of being who I want to be and read someone who has hurt me the riot act, I have chosen to be a peacemaker. I have chosen to extend grace to those who have chosen to be unkind to me and I have been firm in the times when I have needed to be. For me, being a peacemaker means being different things at different times. Sometimes firm, sometimes gracious, but in all things, Christlike.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Learning to Read

Why is the English language so hard to understand?
O'm trying to teach my son to read. He is doing well, but oftentimes he will ask me " is that a long vowel sound or short sound?"  It's hard to tell him the hard and fast rules of the language, because those rules don't always apply. The same word the appears two pages later is not pronounced the same way as the word that looks exactly the same two pages before. How do you explain a language to a five year old when you don't understand it yourself?
Does anyone have any advice?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Power of Anticipation

Did you ever notice what the key to fear is? It doesn't have as much to do with what the fear actually is, but the anticipation of it. The fact that the object of the fear is uncontrollable gives the fear its power. Its pretty amazing to think that one way get rid of a fear is to not worry about the outcome. For example, the fear of heights is not the height, but whether or not the person is going to fall. A person afraid of snakes may not be as afraid of its appearance as they are of what the snake will do to them.
The other key to avoiding fear is faith. If a believer has faith in the Lord that He will save them from whatever troubled circumstance comes their way, how could someone be afraid?