Monday, December 29, 2008

New Beginnings

So, I was praying about the New Year, in different sorts of categories.

Ministry: Love! Be patient. Trust God. Ect. (Not very practical but much needed)

Family: Love, Laugh, Enjoy them.

Then to my surprise I added, My Thought Life: Memorize "Whatever is Pure, excellent, praiseworthy" verse. Do a study on "thoughts".

Here is the first verses I found: Eph 4:21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

I have been frustrated by my inability to act like a new creation. Is the key in our thought life and attitudes? Likely....

A New Year to learn more how to think like Christ and have an attitude that reflects Him and not my flesh. I am fine with that!

What is on your heart at this time of New Beginnings?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

We had a lovely morning. The kids actually slept in until 7:00 (the first time ever) and we had time to get up and get ready. So the stove was going and the coffee was perking when they got up. I got snuggy stuff, a new robe and slippers and pjs and lots of Bath and Body works goodies. Yay. And an mp3 player I can download sermons on to. I have been wanting that for ages (well ok, about 6 months :).

We still have Christmas Dinner at my sisters to look forward too and I know she got a bunch of books I can't wait to read. :)

I hope your day is filled with joy. I love that Jesus gives us presents on His Birthday. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Key to Freedom?

1 Cor 7:3o (Amplified Bible, first two parentheses mine)

And (let) those who weep and mourn (be) as though they were not weeping and mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they did not possess anything, And those who deal with this world [overusing the enjoyments of this life] as though they were not absorbed by it and as if they had no dealings with it. For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away. 32aMy desire is to have you free from all anxiety and distressing care. 35Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord.

So is there anything distracting me from wholehearted devotion to the Lord? Anything causing me anxiety or absorbing me, that is of this world and will pass away?

Lord, let me live like there isn't!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good Plans

Hebrews 11:39-40 (Amplified Bible)

39And all of these, though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised,40Because God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us, so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith] should not come to perfection apart from us [before we could join them].

I have never paid attention to these verses before this morning. I think it is shockingly wonderful that God has such a plan as this! All of the Saints, ever, reaching perfection, together. What a day that is going to be...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More on Judgment

These verses just make me smile: 1 Cor 4:3 Paul speaking,

As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

We can trust God with everything, even the parts of our hearts and minds we don't understand yet.


Monday, December 15, 2008

To Judge or Not to Judge?

Romans 14:44 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

I hear the second part of the latter verse quoted all the time. Reading it all in context today showed me something different. Yes, we shouldn't do anything to make our brothers and sisters in Christ stumble, which usually is us talking about alcohol consumption, but the other main point of this whole chapter is to trust God with other believer's personal lives, and not to condemn each other.

But then there are verses like these: 1 Cor 5:5 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. ~12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

If anyone has studied this and has any insight, please share. The only thing I could see is that there is a difference between different convictions and blatant sin. We should not judge one another's convictions but we should be very careful about condoning the sin in someone's life. Which means we need to make sure we know the difference between sin and someone disagreeing with our convictions.

I have no idea why I am blogging about this. Except I am trying to figure all this judgement stuff out and it helps to write down my thoughts.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Back to Our Bodies, Again

Romans12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

I can't get away from these verses!

What does it mean to really give our bodies to God? How do we become a living sacrifice? Practically? Do we treat our bodies any differently than the world does? I mean, really? We do seem to do a better job not sleeping around, if we stay married, that is. But is anything else different? Are we copying the world? Do we think any differently about our bodies than the world does? Is it as simple as just letting God's Spirit in us choose what we do in each moment?

Why are these questions so important? Because it is truly the way to worship Him! And it is how we know His good and pleasing and perfect will for us.

This is kind of humorous now that I think about it. I have spent years wondering if God even cares about our bodies at all, and now I am realizing that is the avenue for true worship.

Oh Lord, please teach me these things, soon! I want to worship You in spirit and in truth! For reals. What You actually mean when You use the word "worship". I don't want a contaminated worldly version. I want You.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I had to look these two verses up for my Bible study this morning:

Proverbs 28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The idea of God cleansing me from all unrighteousness has comforted me for years. I love that He wants us to confess our sins. He wants us to be honest with Him, even with the ugliest part of who we are. It is so interesting to me that in sharing our sin, exposing it, revealing it, we find healing. God wants us to be real with Him and with each other. All part of that love thing.

Of course, I don't think we need to confess our sin to everyone in the whole world, some people haven't come face to face with their own sin yet and they are not usually the merciful kind. We need to let God lead us to someone who will love us through our struggle.

Is there anything you have learned about confession that you would be willing to share?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Latest Question

Let love be your highest goal, but also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives, especially the gift of prophecy.
~I Cor 14:1

What is prophecy exactly? I have heard/seen many definitions but find them lacking, somehow.

This is my favorite so far: Prophecy is, at root, an especially acute insight into the mind of God on some subject or event. It doesn't have to predict the future. ~James Rutz

What do you think prophecy is?

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Thanksgiving

Whew! I was better by Thanksgiving. If any of you prayed for me, thank you.

We thought we were just going to have a quiet day with my and my sisters family. We ended up having my parents, grandparents, brother and family, and other sister. If we would have planned it, I would have been seriously stressed out. But since it just happened, it was really fun.

Friday we did nothing and it was nice.

Saturday we went and got our Christmas tree and the kids decorated the whole thing all by themselves and it actually looks decent.

Sunday we went to church and got groceries.

I realized as much as I want to love cranberries, I really barely like them. And I adore pumpkin.

I am thankful that life is so much deeper and richer than the surface of things. Even when they are good.

What is going on in your heart as we enter the Christmas Season?