Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the family, the Bible, and the prayers

From my earlier years, there are but a few specific things I remember well. I do recall our family devotions held nightly in the living room. Dad read selected passages from the Bible. I don’t know if he chose the verses or followed a devotional book. Either way, he regularly read and studied his Bible, and therefore was very wise.

Dad read from the King James Version, and I would imagine I had difficulty concentrating. Somewhere, between a thus, ‘tis, canst, thy, thou, art, shalt, etc. (and on, and on, and on…), I’m confident my mind slowly drifted away. When you’re a child, the KJV sounds like an elaborate and complicated Bible language compiled just for adults. After Dad read the Bible, we each said our prayers, beginning with the youngest (that would be me). As Dad was the oldest, his prayers were last, and by far the longest. Before our devotions came to an end, younger family members (that would be me) were likely sound asleep.

I don’t remember how or when the family devotions stopped. Mary (my sis) began working part time at Roses Dept Store and also began dating. Then, John (my brother) got a job at the A & P bagging groceries. After work, he spent a lot of time talking to girls on the phone and eating ice cream by the half-gallon. Sometime, in the midst of everything, family devotions were slowly discontinued. By that point, we most likely were old enough and mature enough to have personal devotions. Oh, did I mention that Dad’s prayers were extremely lengthy.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Psalms 25:1-7 (KJV)

Monday, February 25, 2008

sacrifices and rewards

We had a guest speaker at church this morning. It was Dr Alvin Reid, a professor at Southeastern. He’s Associate Dean for Proclamation Studies and Professor of Evangelism. Our youth department had DiscipleNow going on this weekend, and he was the speaker. I don’t know what DiscipleNow is, but there was a large group of youth in the sanctuary wearing DiscipleNow t-shirts. From the name, it sounds like teaching the Great Commission to the youth of today. Dr Reid also spoke about how even a small Christian movement can make a big difference.

Dr Reid told us (the congregation) that every semester, he has a parent in his office crying, upset that their child has been led to the foreign mission field. I think I can understand that reaction. It’s hard to imagine your child (and his family) half-way across the world.

I’ve known for a very long time that Andrew would serve God in a special way. (A mother just knows these things.) Ever since his first summer with Campus Crusade, serving in Santa Cruz, it was evident how he felt about missions. When Andrew was very young, I began praying for the wife God had chosen for him, and what a wonderful couple they make! Both have a heart for missions, and both are following God’s call.

Each of us (Christians) serve God in different ways. I wasn’t called to work in a church somewhere in a foreign land, but I can pray for missions. I wasn’t called to be a nurse far away from here, but I can support missions. God has given us different gifts. I feel honored to be Andrew’s mother, and to be a part of God’s plan for him. Thinking back on Dr Reid’s words, about the parents in his office, I think I understand. But, I’m also excited how God is working in Andrew’s and Sheila’s lives.

I’m also reminded of the sacrifices and rewards of serving God.

The Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
(Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

a jumbled post - what would you expect at 1:30 am?

I recently received a sale booklet from LifeWay Christian store. A particular item caught my eye – “Save $25, while supplies last”. I wanted to take advantage of the sale, so I stopped by there this morning and bought a hardback copy of The Holman Christian Standard Bible - “The Holman Illustrated Study Bible, Holman CSB”. I normally don’t care for hardback Bibles, but I really like this one. I’ve only flipped thru it a couple of times, and I’m excited to begin a new version, a new adventure, and a new journey.

Did you know that the serving size for Fig Newtons is 2 cookies, at 110 calories? The package weight is 1 pound.

Now, Strawberry Newtons have the same serving size of 2 cookies, but have 100 calories. The package weight is 12 ounces.

Okay. The Strawberry is 10 calories less than the Fig. The Strawberry package weight is 4 ounces less than the Fig. Is something wrong here? Or, am I somewhat confused?

Or, are my thoughts totally random?

A parting thought - "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning." - Mark Twain

One more thing, did you know the serving size of Lifesavers Jelly Beans is 32 pieces? And, 32 pieces are 150 calories. Do I have to count them? Will Mark find out if I don’t count 32 pieces? I’d rather grab a handful.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

journey to joy

”May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God's presence and not a moment without the entire surrender of my self as a vessel for Him to fill full of His Spirit and His love.” -Andrew Murray

My life. I can either be grateful for it, or grumble about it. I can be satisfied with what I have been given, or envy what others possess. Life is a journey that I can either tolerate or enjoy. I’d rather my life have J-O-Y.

My life. But, it’s not all about me. As a child, I learned that J-O-Y was Jesus 1st, Others 2nd, and You last. Jesus is the one, true source of everlasting joy. By giving my time and energy to others, I receive joy in return. I’d rather my life have J-O-Y.

My life. Because God lives within me, my joy may be eternal. Someone once said, “God made you for Himself, and it is only when you find His purpose for your life, that you will also find His peace and His joy in your life”. I’d rather my life have J-O-Y.

You reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy;
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

(Psalm 16:11 The Holman Christian Standard Bible)

"I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
(John 15:11 The Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy valentine’s day

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11 (NIV)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

lists, lists, lists

I just realized – I haven’t been here since Jan. 30th! I've not been able to think of anything to write. As for today, I thought I'd make some lists. I make "to-do lists" more or less every day.

A list of “what I need to do”:
sew three window treatments
complete the bathroom updates
finish painting touch-ups
find sewing machine instruction booklet
hang two wall pictures
re-cover chair seat
buy two lamp shades
learn how to use our new camera
compile remaining tax items
(finish each item above)

Excuses for “why I haven’t completed the list above”
lack of sleep
brain haze

I have a lot to do...
maybe tomorrow will be better…