June 27, 2017

We judge

We judge each other based upon the tone of our skin, the color of our hair, the job we have chosen, the person we are dating or married to, the number of children we have, the house we live in, the car we drive, the state we live in, the church we attend, the size of our yard, the number of our possessions, our friends, who we voted for in the last election, how well put together we appear.

All of these things are surface, almost irrelevant.  Some of them have merit more than others, but they are all based upon appearances.

Maybe the only car I can afford to drive is 10 years old, and falling apart, but hey, I have a car that gets me from point A to point B and back again.  Why should it matter what kind of vehicle I drive?  My car and yours will burn up on the Last Day, and all will be equal.

Who we marry, Who we place our Faith in, and our friendships are definitely of greater importance, but there are also a lot of preferences at play here.  I could marry the hunkiest, good-looking guy who is an inch deep, and that wouldn't do me any good in the short or long term.  I would rather marry a guy who is less sleek, less polished, less sophisticated looking, but who's heart is good and right and centered on what really matters.

Our faith in God is of great importance, as it should influence every decision we make.  We need to place ourselves under the teaching of truly honest, bible-minded shepherds and teachers who care about the condition of our spiritual life, and will guide and direct us into righteousness.  I am so thankful for my own church family and the spiritual nourishment I receive each week from the interaction I have with fellow Believers who love Jesus, and demonstrate the kind of lives I want to emulate.

Friendships are another thing with a mix of greater and lesser importance attached to them.  I once read a wise saying that put it like this:  "You become like the five people you spend the most time with.  Choose carefully."  And I have found this to be true.  We pick up on each other's body language, tone of voice, style of speech, likes and dislikes.  We really do become like one another, and that can be good, but it can also be scary if we don't have discernment as to who we should be friendly towards.  If, however, we are basing our friendships merely on looks, talents, or money, we are doing it wrong.  Our motivation in friendships should be mutual encouragement and edification, no matter what our friends look like physically, or what type of financial background they come from.

If we spend our lives naysaying others, tearing them down or judging them based solely on appearance, we have missed one of the biggest things in life - that God created all of us in His image, and that we are all made for relationship with Him, and with others.  He left Heaven's perfection, to come to earth for 33 years, and live among sinful humanity.  If that doesn't teach us about love and acceptance, I don't know what will.

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"When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

John 13:12-17

June 22, 2017

Relationship > Knowledge

"God is not interested in us knowing about Him.  God is interested in us knowing Him, from what we know about Him." -Nicolas Ellen

Our knowledge of God should not fill our heads with information that doesn't show up in a changed life, our knowledge should lead to further intimacy with God as He leads us, through good times and bad.  Trials and suffering are to bring us into closer relationship with Him as we lean on Him for all we need in this life.


"Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

John 17:3

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

James 1:2-4  

May 17, 2017

A prayer


Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me.  Lay any burden on me, only sustain me.  Sever any ties but the tie that binds me to Your service and to Your heart. 

David Livingstone 

May 15, 2017

Overflow




"And it shall be, in that day," says the LORD
"That you will call Me 'My Husband' (my Ishi) and no long call Me 'My Master' (my baali)."

"I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
in righteousness and justice,
in lovingkindness and mercy
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD."

Hosea 2:16, 19-20 

May 6, 2017

A rare moment

Texas Bluebonnet selfie - Spring break trip to Waco / Silos / Magnolia
This blog has been neglected for far too long, mostly due to my overly stuffed schedule, and lack of regular computer access.  All of that is about to change: summer is upon us, which means a different, slightly less full schedule, and (God willing) a new laptop which I am planning on owning by the end of this month!

Life has been so good lately.  Between my job, school, family activities, and college group / church events, I have never been so busy, or blessed.  Those rare moments when I have down time, I sit, pondering how much my life has changed in just a year.  And I am thankful.  For the college group and the community I am now a part of, which helps me stay encouraged and focused on God.  Something I've never really had before.  Not like this anyway.  I am excited to be surrounded by a group of energetic and passionate young people who really like being together, and want to grow in their walk with Jesus.  And I can't say enough about how much being at the Beech has helped me.

My family continues to be a source of joy in my life.  And even though I don't get to spend as much time with them as before, I am still so thankful for all of their love and support, and especially glad for those times we are all together.  The last time I saw my niece, she was so full of childlike curiosity as I played with her in her playhouse, with her various toys, and sat watching her interact with Jaden.  Of course, she is such a delight, but so are the rest of my family members, and I have been trying to spend more time interacting with them via email, text, letters, and phone visits, since some of them live a great distance from me.  Family is forever, and I want to build strong relationships that will last a life time.

Work - something I have really begun to enjoy.  Really, it is a dream job for me, and less of a drag.  I get to be "mom" 50 or so hours a week to two brilliant, strapping little men, who love me with abandon.  Watching them grow and change and develop each day, is just amazing and something I have dreamed about getting to do all my life.  Even though I don't have kids of my own (yet), these two have become so dear and precious to my heart, and I love them like they are my own.  They follow me around, and like to help in small ways which is a delight.  I think the best part of my job is getting to spend so much time outside with them, exploring God's marvelous creation, looking at ant piles, picking flowers, running, laughing, gardening, playing.  I have always LOVED being outside, and thankfully both boys could live outside if they had their way, so it makes for a wonderful relationship.

College group is something new and exciting in my life.  Since joining last fall semester, I have gotten to experience a lot of new and fun things, as well as grow in my walk with Jesus, meet new people, form new friendships, study God's Word (a lot!), take in some uplifting retreats, conferences, and bible studies and just expand my horizon as a person.  Monday night devos are still my favorite, because of the fellowship and singing, and of course the devotional time as well.  There's just something so encouraging about meeting together at the start of a new week, to eat, talk, sing and hear an encouraging thought from Scripture.  It really helps me set the tone of the next 5 days.  Some of my closest friends have been made through this group.  It's hard to believe we've only known each other 8 months, because we have already experienced and shared so much together.  As I look ahead to this summer, I am a little sad because we won't have as many things going on, and some folks are going home for the break, but I know that there will still be friends to hang with, and fun things to do.  Bible camp is one of them, and I am going this year as a counselor - my 4th time to be a counselor, but my first time to go with this congregation.  I am REALLY excited, not only to get to go with my church family, but even more for the content of what we will be learning that week.  It is going to be powerful, life equipping and challenging and I can hardly wait for July to get here!

My counseling classes are coming along nicely.  Right now I am finishing a class on marriage and family counseling, which has been really good.  I have learned a lot, and been challenged and encouraged by each lecture and assignment.  I have also enrolled in a 3 hour class (10 weeks in duration) which begins the end of this month, and continues through the summer.  This will be in addition to my other classes, so I am going to have a busy summer of learning.  God has used these classes to transform my heart, as much as to get me ready to help others.  The awesome thing?  He has already let me use the knowledge I have gained in the last 18 months or so of study, to help others in need and it has been humbling and exhilarating all at once.  I am truly excited to see how this journey ends.  I already have two ministries interested in using my counseling services once I am done with school, which serves as motivation and encouragement to stay faithful til then end.

Besides all of the above, I am also maintaining a summer garden, which is a source of joy and hard work in my life.  I LOVE plants, and so a garden is such a delight to me.  One day I hope to have a huge garden, and use it in my counseling ministry.  Lots of hopes and dreams, and plans for the future... if the Lord wills.  Right now the few beds I do have will keep me on my toes until fall.  I also decided to plant flowers, because a garden shouldn't just be for food, but also for beauty.  The sunflowers are already blooming, and getting taller each day, and the Zinnias I planted from seed are coming up as well, so are the morning glories.  The yard has never looked better, and I feel such pleasure spending time enjoying the beauty all around as I walk with the boys or sit on the patio.  Truly, God has given us such a gift in His creation!

January 6, 2017

Searching




I'm a broken arrow
I'm a fatal error
Missed my mark, I forgot my lines
Waiting for a sunrise

I'm so tired of living like
I don't have what it takes
I don't have what it takes and
I'm still waiting for the day
Where I'm more than mistakes
More than mistakes
I will be glorious
I will be glorious

On my own I'm no one
On my own I follow
Searching every evening's lonely sky
When all I need's a sunrise

I'm so tired of living like
I don't have what it takes
I don't have what it takes and
I'm still waiting for the day
Where I'm more than mistakes
More than mistakes and
I will be glorious

January 5, 2017

Friendship






I have friends, a few of them, with whom I feel comfortable and can truly be myself around without scaring off, and in the past they have all lived at a distance, so it has been strange and wonderful to make a friend who lives in the same town as I.  Jessica is such a friend, and I am blessed to know her.  She loves Jesus so passionately, so purely, and it really motivates to pursue Him with all my being.  Since we met in July of last year, we have shared several meaningful experiences, and have been intentional about getting to know one another better.  She has been a calm, balanced friend in the midst of upheaval I have been experiencing for a while now.  I don't know if she will read this post or not, but I am thankful for you, Jessica, and how you point me back to Jesus again and again.  Thank you for being a true friend. <3 br="">