Learning to Wait

Bible Thought Thursday

 

How long, O LORD- Will you forget me

 

I almost giggled at this verse. It seems melodramatic. it sounds like my preschoolers in the midst of a tantrum.

 

I’m going to my room and I’m not coming out FOREVER!

 

And yet, this was David, a man after God’s own heart, and here he was, like a child demanding what he wanted from God – Now!

How often do we as adults find it difficult to wait on things – the cashier at the market, your child getting dressed on a busy morning, a red light at an intersection.  We live in a world of instant gratification and we expect God to work the same way.

We ask, he gives, life is good. But we see the now, and he sees the full picture. And yet, we feel as though we have been forgotten, unloved, when he does not give into our desires the instant we express them.

Patience is not an easy thing to learn.  Not with traffic, in lines, with (or for) our children, or even with God.

God’s plans are so much greater than our desires. And when we trust in his goodness and love and wait on him, we will see the blessings of God.  Maybe not in the way we desire, but so much more than we could have ever imagined.

That is the thing, what we thin we need now, God knows if we get it we will miss something greater later on.  He shows us great love in not giving into our demands, but holding out for what is best for us.

 

 

But I trust in your unfailing

 

 

 

Lord;

I thank you that you do not give me all I desire, but you do give me all that I need. I will trust in your providence – take hope in your mercy – and find peace in your unfailing love.

~ Amen

 

 

Have you ever experienced God’s love in his silence?

 

Please share by leaving a comment

 

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Christians Being Real

Bible Thought Thursday

 


 

 

Hypocrite

a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

It is a word often used to describe Christians.  It is the reason many claim to not attend church. Many say Christians act like they believe they are better than others; as if they are without sin.

The big problem is that Christians are not being real.  We talk about the need to admit our sins and accept salvation, and then we hide behind a facade of perfection.  Our pride takes over and we hide our struggles from others (including our church family).  Even during the best times in our lives we still have struggles, challenges and temptations.

A Christian is not sinless

They are just forgiven

Life doesn’t become perfect after we seek God’s forgiveness

We still live in a fallen and sinful world with pain and struggles.

To sit in church each week and pretend life is perfect and then go home and be short and impatient with your family because of stress or other concerns and holding it all in is wrong.

First, the church is not a building but the body of believers.  God calls us to fellowship together to support and encourage one another, to join in praise of our LORD and Savior.

Second, hiding our struggles, claiming we are fine and acting out of stress instead of love does not reflect Christ.  We are called as Christians to be imitators of Christ. So that the world may see the love of God.

 

 

 

Two qualities that defined Jesus were compassion and vulnerability.

Compassion

John 8:2-11

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

 

“A woman caught in adultery” — How did they know?  Most likely she supported herself through prostitution.  Everyone knew, no one spoke of it.  She was the perfect scapegoat to trap Jesus with.  Adultery is a sin, a sin punishable by death through stoning. She is brought to the feet of Jesus.  The religious leaders question Jesus… How will he respond… Can they trap him? Can they accuse of him of being a heretic?

Jesus does not courtesy them with a response.  Instead he begins to write in the sand. Many speculate he is writing the names of religious leaders and town officials who have used this woman’s services and therefore are guilty of the same sin.

And the crowd began to walk away, leaving Jesus standing their and the woman at his feet.  He asks the woman if there is anyone left to condemn her, she replied, “no”.  And then he told her that he did not condemn her either.

This isn’t saying that Jesus thought she wasn’t guilty, he knew she was. But her life (which is coming death would save) was more important than her guilt.

Vulnerability

This is probably the most difficult for us to practice, but Jesus understood the need for transparency.

 

Matthew 26:38-42

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

 

Jesus knew that he would die soon. He knew it was something he couldn’t avoid, and that it was God’s will.  He saw the big picture, what his death would mean for past, present and future generations,  Yet he was so stressed that he sweat blood (Hematohidrosis). I’m not sure if Jesus feared death, but the coming events brought severe stress, and before God he shared this, and asked if there was any way other than death for God’s will to be fulfilled.

 

Jesus was vulnerable, open and honest about his struggles. We need to show being a Christian is not about perfection, but about honest obedience to God’s will and the struggles that come with this calling.  We need to be compassionate more than judgmental, vulnerable more than proud.  If we can do this, then we can show the world, Christians and Non-Christians alike, the true character of God.

 

 

 

“…in view of God’s mercy…”

Bible Thought Thursday

 

Romans 12:1-2

This is my life verse.

What do I mean by that?

This describes what I believe God is calling my life to be.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy. to offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I want to break these two verses down.

Verse 1 —

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.

…In view of God’s mercy…

What is mercy?

Mercy is described (dictionary.com) as compassionate treatment, clemency, a disposition to be kind and forgiving, a blessing.

 

What mercy did God show us?

greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13

God came to Earth as Jesus [John 1:1,14] – He paid the price for our sins.  He forgives us of our sins, the very definition of clemency.  God’s mercy is that we do not pay the price for our sins

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our LORD.

Romans 6:23

So now, because of God’s mercy, because he came and paid the price for our sins we are to:

…offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…

A sacrifice is something offered to a deity to appease or pay homage, a forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have greater value or claim.

As living sacrifices that mean we are to live our lives in a way that honors God, pleases God, reflects who God is because he now lives in us. Our spiritual journey does not begin at death, but at the point we turn our lives over to God and allow him to lead us.

 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? you are not your own, you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your bodies.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

… this is your true and proper worship.

We were created to worship.  You see it at sporting events and concerts.  We love our stars, our athletes, our musicians.  God created us with a spirit of worship.  But his intention was for us to worship him, not just in words and song, but in actions.  In how we live our lives.

Does my choice please God?

Does my choice bring honor to God?

Does my choice show others the love of God?

If you can answer “no” to any of these, the choice that has been made is not an act of worship, it is not an act of one who is living as a living sacrifice.

 

Verse 2 —

Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Do not conform to the patterns of this world…

To conform is to act in accordance or harmony, to comply, to become similar in form, nature, or character.

We are called to be set apart.  To be different than what others see in the world around them.  We are to be a reflection of who God is, not a reflection of the sinful world we live in.

What are some of the patterns of this world?

1.) A lack of respect for ones body.  Wearing immodest clothing  — Just because you can [ie. you have the body for it], doesn’t mean you should.

2.) A lack of respect from our nations youth.  One does not automatically deserve respect, respect is earned by acting respectfully to other. If you are rude to someone, then count yourself lucky when they’re not rude back to you.

3.) Expecting others to cheer on sin and support decisions they believe are erroneous. Tolerance does not mean accepting another’s believes or decisions. Tolerance is treating other kindly even when you disagree with them.  Just because they don’t agree, doesn’t mean they hate.  Disagree and hate are very different.

…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

To be transformed is to be changed in form, appearance and / or character.

Following God should change you.  As you learn more about the one who created you, it is hard to stay the same.  As one allows God to guide them, characteristic of their leader [God] should be evident in their lives.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is hard for me to believe that I will ever understand God’s will.  That I would ever be worthy to “test” God’s will.  But as I grow closer to him I have learned that I have a better instinct about the choices He would want me to make [based on what I have read in the Bible].

This last part of this verse doesn’t seem so intimidating when I realize that my relationship with God is bringing me to the point where I do not have to question what God wants of me.

 

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy. to offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Do you have a live verse? What does it mean to you?

Share in the comments if you do

 

 

The Empty Tomb

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chiefpriests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to theGentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

~Mark 10:33-34~

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. His entry signified him as a man of importance, a king.  But using a donkey instead of a horse meant that he came in peace.  He was not there to overthrow the government.  He was not there to fight at all.

 

 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~Mark 10:45~

Jesus came to serve.  He further showed this at the Passover meal when he washed the feet of his disciples.  Feet were dirty, nasty things in those days because of the literal crap on the street.  Washing feet was necessary, but normally reserved for the servants. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples in an act of servitude and love.

He was then betrayed by one who had acted as his friend. Though this betrayal did not come as a surprise to him.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

~Matthew 26:20-21~

Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He prayed so hard that he sweat blood.  (This is a real condition and you can read about Hematohidrosis here.) He prayed asking God if there was any other way that God’s plan could be completed without him having to die.

And the he was arrested.

He was taken before Pontius Pilate who found no reason to have him executed.

He ordered a flogging, hoping that the severe beating would stop the uprising he feared.

Flogging was pretty nasty to begin with.  They used a whip with spikes of bone or metal and struck the person over and over again, ripping the flesh from the body with each strike.

He was mocked, he was tortured with a crown of thorns.

Pilate still had no reason to execute him, but the crowd (most likely temple workers, not those who cheered for his arrival) wanted him dead.

Pilate washed his hands of the situation and handed Jesus over the Jewish officials to do with what they wished.

They forced him to carry is own cross and then they nailed him to the cross.

He died there.

But he was pierced for our

He was wrapped and placed in the tomb.

On the third day when the women went to redress his burial linens and add spices they were surprised.

The tomb was empty.

Jesus appeared to his disciples and to those in the crowd. He was not dead he was alive.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Christ, At Easter we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The events of Easter give us hope.

Why?

Becuase….

God has power over death.  Death is not the end.  It shows us that there is so much more to life than how it will end here on Earth.

Easter is an amazing time, and it means so much more than chicken egg laying rabbits. It is hope, and love that his death demonstrates to us.

It is the hope of God’s forgiveness of our sins.

It is the love he showed us as he died on the cross.

It is the victory he showed over death.

Milestones

This post marks two milestones.

First, this is…

My 100th Blog Post

I can’t believe I’ve written that many posts, but here we are.

I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog for coming along with me on this journey.

And now for the next part of my journey.

Yesterday was my

It is hard to believe that three decades of my life has already passed.

Years seem like minutes when looking back.

I’ve decided for my 100th post that I would post 30 things I have learned in my 30 years on Earth.

  1. Cats can fit down the laundry chute… they do NOT like this
  2. Hitting a honey bee with you neck while riding down hill on your bicycle at about 25 mph HURTS… watch out for bees!
  3. One must be very careful when using a tree stump as a bike ramp… this can cost you a watch and some flesh off of your arm.
  4. Never roller skate down a hill that is difficult to walk down… this will remove skin from your knees
  5. Chose your friends wisely… sometimes the friends you make as a child are the closest friends you’ll have forever (if you’re lucky)
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new things… Even if it looks gross or scary
  7. The people you love are just that, people.  They are not perfect and it is not fair to expect them to be.
  8. Chose to forgive. Forgiveness frees the wronged.  Holding onto bitterness will not hurt the person who hurt you, it will just hurt you.
  9. It’s good to dream.  Dreams gives us inspiration
  10. Work hard.  Dreams only take you so far.
  11. Be yourself… No one can be you but you, and if you’re not you who else will be?
  12. Watch others… it’s very amusing… specially at the mall or county fairs
  13. You’re never too old to color.  Sometimes a box of crayons and a coloring book is the best therapy in the world.
  14. Go outside… Nothing beats the smell of the great outdoors
  15. Grow something.. connect to God’s wonderful creation.. It will bring you joy and satisfaction
  16. Sticks and stones can break bones… but names will break the soul
  17. Stuff is just stuff.  Clean out your stuff from time to time and give it away so others can enjoy what you don’t need or use.  Excess is just clutter that serves no purpose but to distract from what matters
  18. Respect your elders, they know more than you do, they’ve been there, done that, and probably can tell you stories that will make your sides hurt with laughter.
  19. Connect with people.  Don’t just say “hi”, but get to know the person.
  20. Smile at a stranger… it’ll make their day and probably yours too
  21. Puddle Jumping isn’t just for Kids
  22. Exercise costs less than medicine… get moving, stay healthy
  23. Love is the greatest force on earth.  Love!
  24. Trust your instincts.  You have that gut feeling for a reason.
  25. Tell those you care about, that you care about them,  you’ll never know when they’ll be gone
  26. Laugh, there is a time to be serious, but laughter is the greatest mood lifter there is.
  27. Trust, distrust breeds isolation. You miss a lot when you’re by yourself.
  28.  Find something you love to do and don’t let anyone take it away from you
  29. Children will keep you grounded.
  30. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and this gives hope because we can trust God’s word and know that He is in control and all will be good in the end because God is good and God is love and well see #23…

Faith Is A Relationship

 

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

CURLY BRACKETS TO

I mention God often in my posts, but I realized recently that I never really share what my faith is all about.  I love my husband and my children, but i could not be the wife or parent that I am without my relationship with God. He is my rock, my comforter, my savior.

My faith is not just a list of do’s and don’ts.  Pray, go to church, read the Bible are all wonderful things, but they are merely aspects of my faith.  It is my relationship with my God and savior that defines my faith.

God is amazing, worth knowing, worth spending time with (ie. praying and reading the Bible).

As we get closer to Easter, I am reminded of the incredible love my God has for me.

He came into this world to live among us, to teach us, to guide us.

And He took my sins upon himself, died to take the price of everything I’ve done wrong.

But he was pierced for our

I know what God has done for me.  I love Him because of it, and I desire to know Him better.  Going to church doesn’t make me a christian anymore than sitting in the garage would make me a car.  I go to church, read the Bible, pray, because I’m a christian and want to know the God I love even more.

In the end, my faith, my “Christianity” is more like falling in love than something to believe in.  It’s not a crutch. It’s not a phase. It’s the core of who I am.

I talk about God for the same reason i talk about my kids and husband and friends and family… out of love.  I’m so happy they’re in my life, I feel the need to share my experiences.

Crown of Beauty

I struggle to remember how God sees me and instead wallow in all of my insecurities.  I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be.

I pray that my daughter does not follow in my foot steps. I don’t want my struggles to be her struggles.

As a teenager I had these magazines to look for to find a definition of beauty…

I don’t want these celebrities to be who my daughter looks up to.  I don’t even want it to be me.  I want my daughter to know what God has to say about beauty.

Sure I had my Bible, but I was so green in my faith that I had no idea it said this…

That is why I am glad my daughter will grow up with this magazine…

I love this magazine!

 http://www.crownofbeautymagazine.com/ 

A few months ago I posted a review of an E-book put out by the magazine’s editor

The book was an excellent example of what God expects of young women in relationships and in like manner Crown of Beauty Magazine takes a Biblical approach to fashion (yes modesty can be fashionable) and beauty.

Their Beauty Issue

This magazine is absolutely wonderful.  They tackle modern topics of beauty and self esteem while maintaining Christ-Centered, Biblical advice.

One of my favorite articles in the Magazine is called Girl Talk: True Beauty by Jenny Simmons.

As a mom of a 4 year old little girl, I constantly pray that I will give my daughter the precious gift my parents gave me: knowing that my insides mattered more than my outsides.

~ Jenny Simmons; Girl Talk: True Beauty

 

I think this article speaks to me, because like the author, I too am a mother of a little girl who will one day grow up to be a teenager.  She will confronted by the world view of beauty and she will either give in and spend her life trying to match herself to that construct, or she will find her beauty in God’s grace and live with freedom knowing that she was ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14).

This magazine also has articles about self worth, and modest fashion tips.

Best of all… February 27th Crown of Beauty moves from an online E-magazine to a Print Magazine as well!

Check it out!

Breaking the Stuff Addiction in my Daughter– Part 2

How do you catch a unique rabbit?

Unique up on it!

 

How do you catch a tame rabbit?

Tame way!

 

It is 2:30 am and there is a good chance that i’m loosing it.

However, I think I have tamed the clutter that is my daughter’s toys. What started out as this….

DSCF8092

DSCF8091

…has become this.

DSCF8121

DSCF8120

Much of the stuff that Ewok has outgrown, Tank will be able to use in a few more months, so I packed it and hid it from Ewok.

A lot was thrown out because it was broken or just plain trash.

I might not be needing these…

But we will be needing new shelves because this is what I found when I was cleaning.

DSCF8113

Thus the reason why the remaining baskets are on the book shelf for now.

My craft desk hasn’t been touched yet.

90% of what’s on it i fear is garbage and needs to go, but now that I am approaching 3 am and have an 8 month old who thinks 6:30 am is sleeping in, it is time to turn in for the night.

It doesn’t take much to get your kids organized, you just need to get to it.

Now to figure out how to get my daughter to understand that she doesn’t need everything she sees in commercials.  I need to figure out how to teach her to not hang her happy (this I will explain in a later post) on stuff, but rest in God for satisfaction, and fulfillment.

How do you teach your kids to love God and people more than stuff?

What’s Keeping You From Church?

What excuses are you using to avoid church?

* I’m too tired

* Kids are acting unruly

* The streets are bad (hey it is winter in Northwestern PA)


* Kids are sick

* I have a headache

Excuses are easy to find and even easier to use to help rationalize why you shouldn’t be doing what you really should be doing.

I woke up this morning with a headache, and even after breakfast it hasn’t gone away.  So I thought, “eh…. we’ll just stay home”

Then I say this on my facebook feed…

My kids being sick would keep me from work and maybe the streets being super snowy and dangerous to drive on but nothing else on my excuse list would stop me.

If I were to wake up with a headache on a work day, I’d take an Ibuprofen and head to work anyways.

So…

I’ll see you all after church…

So what’s keeping you from church this morning?

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