Friday, October 24, 2008
See, I too am a sinner saved by grace. My blog focuses on the saved by grace part, but doesn't mention the sinner part too often. Like Bob Coy, I have a history. I never lived in Vegas or sold drugs, yet my background isn't just filled with stumbles, but with falls. Being raised in a home by an alcoholic, prescription drug addict mom didn't offer a lot of direction, and I made mistakes and had poor judgement.
Unlike Bob Coy, however, I am not ready to share my testimonies of failure with you. While Jesus has separated my sins as far as the East from the West from me, I still fear rejection because of them. I remember many years ago in a bible study group I was leading, I shared something (I don't even remember which "testimony" it was!) But afterwards one of the women said to me how surprised she was with what I shared. She said I was "so young and seemed to have it all together," leading a bible study group, walking the walk and talking the talk, that it was surprising to hear that I had feet of clay like everyone else.
I don't remember whether she sounded relieved or disappointed by my "feet of clay," but I do remember that it didn't feel good to be on the receiving end of the comment. I don't want to be judged by my past but by my present. Yet, even Jesus in his own hometown was judged by those who knew him before (even perfect then)..."Isn't he the carpenter's son?" They were incredulous that Joseph's son, who they'd watch grow up in the carpentry shop, now claimed to be the messiah. They knew him "back then." I wonder what those who knew me in my late teens and early 20's would say. "Who does she think she is? Isn't she the one who...?"
So I admire Bob Coy. He is willing to share his past, so that sinners like me know that they too can be saved by grace. And maybe one day I'll be able to share my testimonies. Until then, I know that I have a heavenly father who accepts me, past and all...even when I can't offer myself that same grace.
1 Corinthians 3:1, 2 -- Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.
Matthew 13:53-57 -- When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
Romans 5:8 -- But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It is especially hard for mothers of young children, (who are up at night with feedings or non-sleeping little ones) to try and get up early to spend some quiet time with God. In this exhausting season of life, we even nap when the little ones nap! So how can you sneak in quiet time. I read children's devotions to my preschooler. She loves the one-on-one time we spend reading. Don't think you could learn anything from a children's devotional book? Today's lesson was on Philippians 2:14, "Do everything without complaining or arguing." Surely none of you has a problem with that one? (I do!) So while the examples they use in the book may not be relevant to me, but my daughter, I can still challenge myself with the verses and apply them to my life.
Maybe you're busy in the car. Whether you are a busy executive heading to meetings, or the car pool mom, the radio is a great source of quiet time. When taking my oldest daughter to school every day, I always listened to an awesome pastor, Bob Coy. I never failed to be challenged and learn something. He is no longer in the time slot of my car pool drive, much to my disappointment, but I can still find his radio show here.
I'm sure there are loads on Internet pastors out there, for those of you who spend lots of time hanging out at the PC. If listening is your thing, you can hit Bob Coy or another site. Reading more your thing? I receive the P31 daily devotion in my email inbox every day. While checking my email, I squeeze in devotion time by reading their daily devotion. Even some of the blogs I read challenge me and teach me biblical lessons. Quiet time? Yes it is.
Want more bible intake without someone else's commentary? How about the bible on CD? I have it, and can take my 2 mile walk while listening to scripture come alive with animated voices. It is energizing to hear and picture the scriptures come to life while I walk. This is also a wonderful time to pray without interruption! Combining walking & quiet time gives me a chance to exercise my body & spirit.
Finally, I'm about to tell you my NEW SECRET WEAPON. Yes, this is going to revolutionize my quiet time. I just know it. Remember you heard it here first. THE TIME CHANGE! Yes, next weekend (Nov. 2) daylight savings time will end and we will revert to standard time. This means we'll FALL BACK gaining an hour. Well, usually I still wake up with my body clock saying "yes, I know the clock says it's 6, but feels like 7 to me." I plan on using my body clock to start having quiet time in the morning. It won't be a stretch to wake up at the same time as I have been, only now it will be one hour earlier. I'll let you know how it goes.
Do you have any quiet time tips?
Mark 1:35 -- Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Luke 5:16 -- But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed
Luke 9:28 -- About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The first answer is yes. God is the ruler of all things. The bible says all authority is from God. So whether it's Obama or McCain, God is still the ultimate ruler, thereby we are a nation under God. We are a world under God. The heavens and the earth remain under God, and his control.
However, we do not LIVE like we are a nation under God. Based on the free will that God gave us, (the free will that allowed Adam & Eve to eat the fruit that God specifically told them not to), we choose to live as we are a nation under ME. (and by ME, I don't mean myself, I mean every man for himself, the "ME" first attitude).
ME says "ME FIRST." Jesus says "the first shall be last."
ME says "I'll cut you off at the knees." Jesus says "I am the vine, you are the branches" and graphs himself to us to make us stronger.
ME says "I'm not happy, I need prozac" Jesus says "the joy of the Lord is your strength"
ME says "Get over it!" Jesus says "blessed are those who mourn."
ME says "let the best man win!" Jesus says "Blessed are the peacemakers."
ME says "everyone else is doing it." Jesus says "do not let anyone lead you astray."*
(*by Jesus, I mean God's word- the bible, not specifically the words of Jesus)
We have ceased to be God serving, and live to be self serving. Don't think God hasn't noticed.
When the Israelites stopped serving God and put other things before God (the definition of idolatry), God allowed them to go into captivity for 70 years. We, too, may be entering a time of "captivity" to allow time to get our priorities in order.
When we put God first, we will truly be one nation under God. Until then, its just more lip service, more spin, and politics as usual.
Edie asks that we close our post with a prayer.
This prayer is an adaptation of Daniel 9:4-11, 17-19, with changes made by me to reflect our current time. (But I had to make very few.)
"O, Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and open his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and rebelled, we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened....
Lord you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame...we and our leaders are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him, we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us. All the United States has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the country.... We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay because your people bear your Name."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
"My blog is needy and I am greedy
It’s true and I’ll tell you why
I want the fluff .... YES ! all the stuff
That you said could be mine
A better header with awesome art
A blogskin that looks just ‘so
’Tabs and buttons and sidebar graphics
And pretty columns in a row
A place of my own, to share my thoughts
Where friends can come and visit
And share what God’s doing in their lives, too
Now, that’s not too much to ask, is it?"
Congratulations Barb! Thanks for everyone who played. And remember, if you didn't win, Edie will be happy to create a custom made blog for you for a small fee. Check her out!