Monday, October 26, 2009

Point Made!

I heard the following sermon illustration in an amazing message on Genesis 4-5. Had to share it:

A young girl had a pet boa constrictor. She loved it and would let it get out of the cage. It was like a member of the family. She let it slither around - loved it, cared for it, fed it. Eventually she began to let it sleep in her bed with her like a friend. It would stretch out along her back and cuddle with her. She thought it was very sweet. Then, after a while, she noticed that the snake had quit eating. No more rats or mice. So she took it to the vet. He asked if the snake had experienced any trauma or sudden changes to its life or diet. She said no but left out the part about it sleeping in the bed with her because she didn't want to sound weird. He said if it continued to be a problem, to bring it back. So she took it home and nothing changed. She grew more concerned and began to freak out. She went back to the vet and he asked her if she was sure nothing significant had changed. She finally admitted that the snake was sleeping with her, and shared how great it was - it stretched out and snuggled up next to her. The vet immediately reacted and told her to stop. He corrected her that the snake had not been cuddling with her. In fact, the boa constrictor was measuring her. The snake was starving itself so it could eat her. He told her that it is not a pet - it wants to devour you.

And sin and temptation are the same way. You don't own it, it owns you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Running Mind

Well, for the fourth night in a row, my mind is spinning and sleep is not knocking on my door (quite out of the ordinary for me). So to help unwind, I'm going to leave it here so hopefully I can crash.

1. Liz in one today. When did that happen!? I sure do love that girl a lot. She doesn't know it yet but her aunt is pretty much wrapped around her finger more tightly every time I see her. I can't wait to celebrate her on Saturday!! Erin wrote an amazingly sweet blog and posted some great pictures. Check it out!

2. Things at work are kind of weird this year. They are changing and the stress levels are WAY up. I haven't felt this in years. I'm on a major learning curve this year and it has majorly overwhelming moments. I wear a pin on my lanyard that says "Expect Miracles". This year, I praying for it!

3. I can honestly say that I have never fully understood the meaning of having your heart tugged at but the past two days have pulled and twisted so many times. God is busy with some pretty significant lessons here and they keep me up at night. That is another blog for another day though. I'm sure it will come soon so keep your eyes open.

4. I made a pretty shocking decision yesterday. Women across the country will think I am nuts but I'm very peaceful about it. I've decided to stop attending the Bible Study led by Beth Moore (at least for this semester). I had a choice to continue with the study or to join a small group of girls that meets on Tuesday nights. Since relationships/community is one area God has been working with me, I decided to go with the small group.

5. I am torn between the American, westernized church and what we are called to be in Scripture. I see big discrepancies in my life and what we are called to. Again, another blog for another time.

6. I have the BEST bible class ever! My breath is taken away at the sincerity and hearts of the people I do this thing called life with. They are amazing!

7. I'm thankful for brainless books and TV to give me mental breaks!

8. Kindergarteners can make me laugh quicker than just about any age group. They are SO funny!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Fun Theory

Holly sent me a link to this website called The Fun Theory and I just had to share the videos with you. Each is only a minute and a half long. The idea is that by making something fun, people's behavior can change. In short, I want to live where these people are. Amazing and fun! :)

The Bottle Bank Arcade Machine (Recycling Glass Bottles)

Piano Staircase (take the stairs rather than the escalator)

The World's Deepest Bin (Throw trash in the trashcan)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Worry Amended

I totally forgot to share something with you about worry. You may know this already but humor me for a minute. Clint was sharing that in his study for the lesson, he decided to look into the origins of the word "worry". Now, he could have stopped after this because it is a one lined sermon. Ready?

The word "worry" originates from a word that means "to strangle".

If that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Casting it on Him

Tonight at Koinonia, we talked about worry. We spent a lot of time in Matthew 6 are a few related verses. By the end of the evening, one of the conclusions we reached was that worry is a lack of faith. Worry shows doubt in not only what God can do but who He is. We spent some good time talking about casting our worries on Him and taking up His yoke. So I've decided to ask you to come aside me in casting some worries off. Below are some prayers that I am lifting up and covet your prayers along these lines.

1. Health - Things are a conundrum with my health again. The last appointment, the doctor threw out some words that sucker punched me. The medications are not working which means I'm not working. Satan speaks lies to me using this in many ways. My prayers are that the doctors can figure out something that will work, that I'll have peace through this, and that Satan will quit messing with me through it.

2. Singleness - not anywhere near as bad as it has been in the past but I feel it trying to sneak up on me. I just want to nip any discontentment in the bud.

3. Work - I'm still trying to find my footing in my new position. I'm just needing some assurance that something is making a difference. I still miss my old position but this is what I've been entrusted with for the year.

4. Finances - I really want to knock some things out but things keep popping up. I just want to be a good steward of what I've been given but I need to catch a break from things breaking. :)

5. Faith - To have a persevering faith that does not doubt but keeps relying on God. Some days it is hard to remember that not only have my prayers been heard but answered.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Words of Warning

Early last spring, I took a good long look at my life and decided that I was officially becoming a hermit. I spent much time praying that God would take me out of that cycle and help me to get a life. I prayed for things to become active in and for people to build community with. Fast forward eight months and now I am praying for a weekend to breathe. :) I'm so thankful but juggling everything is insane! Here are my weekend for the next few months:

Oct 16 - 18 - Community Pot Luck and Game night
Oct 23 - 25 - Liz's 1st birthday party (WHAT!? That was TOO fast!) and a friend's shower (in the evening)
Oct 30 - Nov 1- the end of the busiest week known to man (well, besides creation), Watch Liz and Dinner with the Bhutanese/FirstFest
November 7 - 9 - class hiking trip on Saturday and shower for Bladen on Sunday
November 13 - 15 - OPEN
November 20 - 22 - Jill's wedding
November 27 - 29 - Thanksgiving
December 4 - 6 - Sitting by the phone for a call about Bladen and Christmas Store
December 11 -13 - Sitting by the phone for a call about Bladen and Class Christmas Party/Celebration
December 19 - 21 - OPEN
December 25 - 27 - Christmas

So if I don't make it down to Pleasanton before Christmas, I hope you'll understand! :) So my words of warning, be careful what you pray for! It is a HUGE blessing but man, I'm thankful for this weekend to rest up for what's to come!

So is this just me or is anyone else busy?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Wonderful, Merciful, Savior

For me, the concept of mercy has been one that has alluded me. I've understood grace for about three years now. I didn't understand redemption until about 8 months ago. What can I say, I'm a recovering legalist. Learning the character of God and who He is continues to be a relatively new reality for me. However, He is faithful to teach me about Himself in the small doses that He deems me ready for. Tonight, He decided I was ready to understand His mercy.

We are studying Revelation this fall in an 11 week overview of the book. It is hard and heavy but SO good! Tonight we covered the first 6 seals (yes, you read that correctly). It was pretty intense. Reading about the judgements to come can be overwhelming and dismaying (to say the least). At the end of the lesson, we talked about some reasons we are so anxious about what we find in the Revelation. One idea presented was that we are merciful people, not wanting to see disaster fall on people - especially of an eternal nature. She said something that then opened my eyes to the meaning of mercy. We are merciful because we are created in the image of God - our Merciful God.

We read about His patience and desire for all to be saved (II Peter 3:9), His heartbreak in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:10-11), and His compassion on those doomed to eventual destruction (Jonah 4:2). If we feel such torment over the souls of our fellow man (even those we do not know), how much more torment does their Creator feel for them?

She made this statement and it kept me in my seat for a good 5 minutes after the study was over, frozen in humility. Everyday that we wake up and are still on this earth, it is God shedding His mercy on those He desires to turn to back to Him. He is holding back His judgement from those still in need of Him.

I will never grumble about a morning given again - no matter how my soul aches to finally be home. He is a wonderful, merciful Savior!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Words From the Wise Doctor

The other day I was looking for a quote and found myself wrapped up in the wisdom of Dr. Seuss. Enjoy these words to live by:

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient to living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go.

Today is gone. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than You.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


I've been think a lot about stewardship over the past few weeks. In every relationship, walk of life, and responsibility I've been given, I am starting to see it all as an opportunity to be a good steward. God has blessed me abundantly and now I need to step up in all areas for His glory. Here are some areas that I have been considering:

- Time - How am I using my time? Is it for the sake of others or for myself? Who benefits from my daily activity and focus? Does my calendar reflect my priorities? Am I honoring the Ancient of Days by making the most of this twinkling of an eye?
- Body - Am I making the most of this body? I have been blessed with full use of my body and mind but am I keeping it in shape? Am I honoring the One who knit me together by what I put in or how I exercise by body?
- Money - Am I being wise in the choices I am making? Am I being responsible with what I have been given? Am I honoring the Giver and Provider with what He has entrusted to me?
- Environment - Am I being the caretaker I have been created to be? Am I doing what I can to take care of my current home (this earth)? Am I honoring the Creator by caring for His creation?

What is all comes down to is honoring Him with all we are and all we've been given. It's amazing how great a task that is when you stop and actually think about it.