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Archive for January, 2011

What’s on my mind

I am reading Donald Whitney’s Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, and the first question is do you thirst after God. This made me think more on the illustration that he used (that everyone uses) that we all have a God-shaped vacuum in our heart, and it draws us to God.

Then I started thinking on Genesis 1:27 that says God made us in his own image. Most parents love hearing that their baby looks like them. “She has her dad’s mouth, and your eyes!” And, it is true, even adopted babies start to take on the characteristics of their loving parents, and then you have people telling you that they can see you in your baby’s face. How absolutely precious a remark to receive! That’s exactly what I realized this morning during my quiet time meditation, how precious to have a God that loves us so much that he wanted us to have his image.

Then the tough thoughts came. It’s not enough to just look like him, but he requires us to be like him. In Matthew 5:23, we are commanded to be perfect. I know that I have people in my life who demand perfection as well. They don’t usually care how you get the perfect result (e.g.: cut a corner, take from something else, hide the mess, etc.); they just want it! Well, God does care. He cares about the how, when, where, why, who, and the what.

Then this thought took me down the path of thinking of people who I know and love who thirst after other more tangible positive loving things like knowledge, wisdom, peace, love, and happiness to fill that God shaped vacuum. Then I clearly see how we all can say that the paths we have chosen will lead us each to God. And, I agree with you on that point. We will each meet God at the end of our path on this side of heaven. And when you meet him, will you meet him as a friend or as enemy? Will you meet him having lived the life he commanded, or have you lived a life full of self-gratification?

Wow, this was just my meditation from the first few pages of chapter 1, what in the world will I walk away with by the end of the chapter?!

 

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Some of you know that I’ve traveled to Florida this week to spend time with my friend Laura as she and her family wait for her mom to transition from life to death at a hospice home. It was a no brainer to come, but who knew I’d be smack dab in the middle of a love fest!

This family loves on each other in good times, bad times, sad times, private times, and in the midst of company. I’m sitting in the living room at Laura’s computer. She and Jeff are just on the other side. Jeff’s massage Laura’s tense neck and sore back. She ‘s groaning with delight, and he’s saying sweet nothings to her. I feel like I’ve invaded a private moment, but I dare not move and remind them that I’m present.

So awesome to be able to witness this kind of love! Thanks for letting me be a fly on the wall.

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I have accepted the challenge from Aletha McManama to read through the bible in a year. I have NEVER read through the entire bible; so, this will be great!

January 1, reading: 1Corinthians chapters 12-14.

What a great way to start this off by reading the “love” chapter.

The Greatest of these is love
First Corinthians, Chapter 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

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Since 2008, I’ve been creating a theme and focused objectives instead of a list of resolutions. Thanks to Laura Allen and Sharon DayClick here to read the details – 2010 The Year of Absolute Yes.

In 2010, it was all about yes! Therefore, I had to say no to quite a few things, and, saying no is so very hard for me; thus, making 2010 a very tough year emotionally. Relationships were redefined, and some precious ones have even ended. Spending was curtailed to ensure that we get from under the debt as soon as possible. Huge sacrifices were made like I took on a part-time job for the last six months of the year to pay off a tax bill that appeared out of no where.

But then some really great things have happened too!
* I am an unashamed Christ follower! It was really hard to not be more vocal, and bold, about my faith as I watched time after time God literally pull us through a situation. There’s a lot I share in my blog, but not everything because some of it isn’t my stuff to share.
* By the grace of God, and the help of many friends holding me accountable, our debt bill has gone from $60,000 down to $20,000. I’ve truly learned the value of paying with cash, and living within my means. I’m still not 100% diligent about doing so, but I’m no longer spending in secret, and living in the condemnation of it all.
* With gifts from a friend, we were able to add a newer car to the family (welcome again, Kirk!).
* God in his kindness has seen fit to reunite me and my friend Thea. Thea and I were best friends for more than 16 years. We ended our friendship about 13 years ago over a variety of things that built up in our relationship that went without being spoken out of fear of losing a friend. It’s been awesome to have my friend back, and to work on having the hard (vulnerable) conversations that it takes to grow forever friends.

What a cool sag way into my theme for 2011. With all the changes that have gone on around, and in, me,  I must prepare the for the opportunities ahead of me. So, 2011 is the Year of Opportunity. I’m keeping my eyes open, as I have great expectations for 2011!

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