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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where does humility begin and end?

I have been wrestling with the concept of grace and humility lately, particularly when is it an appropriate time to stop being graceful and humble and start being assertive. I know the bible has a lot to say on this subject, with verses like " If you forgive, your father will not forgive you", " for it is by grace we have been saved...", etc. but what if the offense has been done to you and you are not at fault. Is it more humble and gracious to just let it go and not say anything, and keep letting yourself get walked on so the relationship will not be strained to keep in line with " As it stands with you, live peaceably with all" ? What if you have done this several times, and the relationship never improves? Since God wants to redeem all of mankind, how does not saying anything usher in redemption?
I was thinking about after the fall in Genesis when God confronts Adam and Eve in the garden. He doesn't just let it go so that Adam and Eve can keep on sinning, but confronts them with asking them why they hid. There is some sort of level of accountability. But, how does this translate to those outside the church body? Does the same level of accountability apply? What if the more kindness you have shown, the poorer you are treated? What if when you confront them, they take no responsibility for their part in the relationship strain?I could use some feedback on this. Feel free to chime in if you have any thoughts.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I am thankful for 13

I'm thankful today for Starbucks.
I'm glad that I can have a place to go when I need a moment of rest and peace.
A quiet solitude I can only get away from my home and workplace.
I'm thankful for a place where I can focus on my thoughts and recharge my batteries.
A place where the hot chocolate and chai tea lattes taste so much better than what I can get at home.
Thank you Starbucks, for making my life a little bit better.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What I am thankful for 12

Today is my first day trying to avoid coffee- and it's KILLING ME!!! If I drink too much, my stomach starts to bother me and ultimately my back. So, I'm trying to commit to not drinking it.
I've tried this before, but wound up going back to drinking it everyday. When I took my first sip after going so long without it, I knew I had let myself and God down. I knew that God wanted me to quit because, as small a vice as it is, it was becoming between me and the Lord. I also knew I could come to him in repentance and try again the next day, and so a new day has dawned and I'm staring again.
And I am thankful for the gift to repent and start again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What I am thankful for 11

I have been filing my paperwork to get my CDA for my job renewed. I also had them review my transcripts to see if they could find 12 credits in Early Childhood Ed so that I would not have to renew it anymore. During the process, i prayed fervently that one class that dealt with the birth to five age group. after waiting several days, the board found that it would not accept my class. Filled with disappointment, I wondered why I couldn't have what I prayed for. I may never know the answer to that question, but realized that the reason why I was so disappointed was because I felt I deserved what I asked for and didn't get it. Then, i realized, I deserve a lot of things. I deserve death for my sins, because the bible is clear that the wages of sin is death. But, instead of death, i got a little something else: grace.
I am thankful for it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What I am thankful for 10

Today I am writing this quickly before I dash off to my triad. A triad is when 3 people come together to pray, read scripture and keep each other accountable on things they would like to change. I am thankful today that i can visit my friends; home with ease, not at all concerned that someone will tell me I can't or force their way into my home and tell me to stop. I am also thankful for the beautiful nature of fellowship and the kind of bonding that comes when " two or three gather in His name."
I am thankful for the gift of brother and sisterhood.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I am thankful for 9

As I sit here writing this blog entry, I rest my aching back with my heating pad, worn from its frequent use. I am reminded yet again of how my chronic back pain becomes a nuisance to my daily routine. But I am thankful.
Because I am thankful that my pain, for the most part, has never caused me to call out sick from work.
I am thankful because in my time of greatest pain,. I am reminded that God is limiting me from working too much.
I am thankful that it has never required surgery.
I am, thankful because my monthly chiropractic and massage visits, although costly,
help keep the pain at bay for most of the month.
I am thankful that I have never needed prescription medication that could otherwise alter my activities.
I am thankful that I am not suffering from much more serious illness.
I am thankful that I can get out of bed in the morning and go to bed at night.
I am thankful that I can watch my children grow for another day relatively pain free.
I am thankful for my health.
I am thankful for my health.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What I am thankful for 8

A love story.
A letter.
that is living and active
and has the power to transform
and invite the reader
to repentance
and salvation.
I am thankful for the Word of God.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I am thankful for 7

In America, I have the freedom to write this on a blog without fear of people coming into my home and forcing me to defame the name of Christ.
But not everyone has that freedom.
I was reading on yahoo news's website that Christians are being targeted in Bagdad. Militants have stormed churches in Iraq in the past couple of weeks and shot over 68 people. It is depressing to hear these stories and my heart goes out to those who are having to endure this persecution. After reading this story, I bowed my head and said a quick prayer to the Lord for these victims. " Lord, please protect the Christians in Baghdad, and please stop the killing that is going on over there." Then, I thought to myself, "Why would I want to pray for that?"
 For a moment, I must have thought that this life could somehow be better than eternity with God.
I am thankful today not only for the freedom to be able to meet weekly with my brothers and sisters in Christ without fear, but also that when this life is over, I have another, better life to look forward to.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What I am thankful for 6

I lift my hand over my head to stop this annoying sound every morning.
The countdown begins.
Exercise. Eat. Shower.
No time left.
I spend eight hours a day working laboriously at the expense of my back and neck.
I come home, hoping to relax and rest.
Until tomorrow.
The countdown begins again with the same sound.
I am thankful that I need that sound.
I am thankful I have a place that I go every morning.
I have a job.
I work.
I am thankful.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What I am thankful for 5

Has anyone seen the movie The Social Network? It tells the story of how Facebook got its start. I was not familiar with the story before I saw the movie, so I was shocked to finally understand the reason behind it. After viewing it, I wanted to stop using Facebook altogether. Given that the main reason it got started was that it was an extension of a website that matched girls on his college campus by which one was "hotter", I was a bit offended by it. But, then I quickly became thankful for it. Why? What other website allows me to proclaim the gospel to all of my friends in a matter of seconds?  What other website has allowed me to reconnect with people I haven't seen in many years just by the push of a button? Although the motivation behind the site might not have been the most pure, God, in His great mercy and redemptive nature allowed His name to yet again be praised to all nations. After all, if Facebook were a planet, it would be the fourth largest in the world.
Thank you, Mark Zuckerburg, for allowing God to use you as an instrument of His righteousness to redeem that which was lost.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I am thankful for 4

It is hard to come by.
Sometimes it is deafening.
Take a moment and put yourself in a place in your home where you can experience silence.
No distractions.
No noise.
Can you do it?
It's hard, isn't it?
I'm sure it is almost impossible at times.
I am reading a book called The Kingdom Experiment , based on the Beatitudes.
My challenge from this book this week is to drive in silence.
Besides the sound of cars and the hum of the motor, I am driving in silence.
It is amazing how much I want to turn on the radio.
But, it is making me turn my thoughts to God.
Silence is golden, and I am thankful for that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What I am thankful for 3

As I am typing, I am being thoroughly by my two children, making the silliest faces and noises.
Their smiles say it all. Their joy and zest for life are infectious. As difficult as they can be at times, I am thankful for my two children. They love their parents, God and their neighbors.
Many parents, who sit by the bedsides of their children, wracked by illness and disease and unable to cope with the pain of life, hold their children's hands, the only solace they can offer to ease the pain. They would take their children's place in a second, but are plagued with the feeling of hopelessness that they cannot. They would kill for an opportunity to be entertained by their children's smiling faces.
I have that opportunity tonight.
They do not.
I am thankful for that.

What I am thankful for 2

I walked into the elementary school near my home yesterday.
I waited in line for only a few moments.
I took the special black pen attached to the white partition separating me from the two strangers on both sides of me.
I filled in the ovals neatly and completely.
I inserted my paper into the fax machine looking contraption at the front of the room.
I helped decided the future of my town and state.
I voted.
As a woman,
I take my right to do so very seriously.
A few decades ago, I would not have that opportunity.
I am grateful for that.
Thank you to all of the women who suffered, were ridiculed and even died for that right.
I am thankful for that.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What I am thankful for

As we approach Thanksgiving, I decided that for the next 25 days, I will write what I am thankful for. I notice it is more difficult for me to think about the negative things in life when I am too busy counting my blessings...
The first thing I am thankful for is my husband. We have been married for ten years, been in the ministry for all of those ten years and pastored three churches. We have done a lot together. The one thing we have never done is squashed each others' dreams. We have always sacrificed to make our passions and dreams a reality. I am thankful for that. Many wives think that submission means to sacrifice who they are to make their husband's dreams come true. I am glad that I am in a marriage that understands what submission is: equality and complementarity.
Thank you, Joe, for knowing that Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.