Tag Archives: faith

memory monday…or tuesday…no, wednesday


My bloggy friend, Joanne at The Simple Wife hosts Memory Monday…and every Monday I think to myself ‘I would sure like to join in the fun.’ So, even though it is Tuesday {ok, now Wednesday!} I am going to join in with my verse for this week…and next Monday (if all goes well) I will come back and type it in from memory.


For me there is always the temptation to complain about my situation, then in an effort to dig myself out of the whiner’s pit I try to earn favor with God and man through actions or works. However; to the astute observer, my efforts are disingenuous at best, pure hypocrisy at worst. So, as I endeavor this week not just to memorize this group of words, I pray my heart would be transformed by them and my words and actions would reflect what His word has done inside.

Well, that sounds all fluffy and spiritual, doesn’t it?

Let’s put some modern day meat on this scripture …what does this look like today, NOW?

Wesley’s commentary expands on this verse quite well…[modern girl application in brackets]

To do justly – to render to every one their due, superiors, equals, inferiors, to be equal to all, and oppress none

[Easy application: drive courteously on the streets of Lincoln, yield the right of way when applicable.]

[Challenge application: Oppress none…thinking on this one, much less applying it would keep me up for d.a.y.s. No wonder I need Jesus.]

To love mercy – to be kind, merciful and compassionate to all, not using severity towards any

[Easy app: snuggling with my children after school and listening to them talk about their busy day.]

[Challenge app: Not using severity towards any…does that include politicians? No wonder I need Jesus.]

Walk humbly with thy God – keep up a constant fellowship with God, by humble, holy faith.

[Kind of easy app: daily prayer and quiet time, reading scripture and journaling…I love to have my QT with God, but sometimes it seems life gets in the way and I am off and running for the day.]

[Challenge app: Walk humbly with thy God…this means I have to trust Him with everything, doesn’t it? No wonder I need Jesus.]

Oh, and this verse is from a cute scripture memory packet from a very creative artist, Jeanne Winters. Her gift collection, simply inspiring
is featured at Hallmark Gold Crown Stores. You can read more about Jeanne at her blog here.

For the joy!

ab

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Advent Conspiracy…

There’s a conspiracy underway…and I don’t think it will end anytime soon.

I think we could agree we are all on a journey, searching…and it seems the holiday season exacerbates this searching feeling inside.

Unless the searching feeling has been satisfied. By the One who satisfies.

The One who satisfies came to us as a babe in a manger over 2000 years ago; today we celebrate His birth as Christmas. Maybe it’s me, but somewhere along the way celebrating Christ’s birth (aka Christmas) was hijacked by the searching monster. In the United States the “holiday season” begins at Halloween (or before), is punctuated by the Big Feast (aka Thanksgiving) in which we gorge ourselves on scandalous amounts of food and ends with the grand finale on Christmas Day. For many, Christmas Day has become a fest of consuming…of spending scandalous amounts of money on stuff we don’t really need in search of something we really do need. We make our lists, check them twice and head out to Wal*mart in search of…something.

Christ’s birth (aka Christmas) was meant to transform the world…not our credit rating. Why all this consuming during the holiday season? And it’s not just about buying gifts, either. There’s the new pots and pans to be purchased to cook all the extra food we are cooking, the new furniture for the people who are coming to visit…there’s the new clothes to buy for the parties we have to attend…there’s the wrapping paper and tape and ribbons to buy to wrap all the gifts we’ve purchased. And the $29.99 gallon of peanut oil to fry the $10.00 turkey. But you can use the oil over and over. Who fries food these days besides McDonald’s?

Now, I may be preaching to the choir…or maybe I’m just talking out loud to myself…you may have all this figured out. But way back in early October, I was shopping the local *big box discount store* for Halloween candy and I noticed Christmas décor and stuff in the aisle next to the princess and fairy costumes. The confused look on my face must have mirrored that on my children’s. “What’s the Christmas stuff for Mommy?” “Oh, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without a few Christmas decorations, would it, honey?” I decided I had had enough of the whole holiday consumer scene.

What if, as followers of Christ we would treat the holidays as the Holy Days they are? What if we would consider stopping the busyness…to slow down and listen to the One who satisfies? What if our transformed hearts would focus out on others, sharing the Hope that satisfies? This sounds great; you say…I want something different this year…but how?

Advent Conspiracy is a great place to start. Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by worshipping Jesus through compassion, not consumption. This page has some specific ideas for relational giving.

What Would Jesus Buy? is a secular docu-comedy about the commercialization of Christmas. It’s from producer Morgan Spurlock (“Super size Me”) and has received very positive reviews from Christianity Today and Beliefnet.com among others.

Catalyst Church in Kent, Ohio has taken the Advent Conspiracy to a new level…check out Christmas in Kent.org.

Rick McKinley’s blog (Imago Dei Community) is here…read The Baby is Coming and check out Imago Dei’s site.

Darryl at DashHouse.com has posted his column from Christian Week.

Here in my town three churches have formed Christmas on 84th Street…here’s the site for inspiration.

Inspiration for Celebrating Christ in Your Home:

What about Santa Claus? We began celebrating Saint Nicholas Day many years ago. Pastor Ralph Wilson at Joyful Heart Renewal Ministries has written a lovely article about Nicholas, find it here. Many of you may already know the story, I had never heard “the truth about Santa” until I was a Christ follower! For details on our family St. Nicholas celebration see Treasured Traditions.

And this link to Simpleliving.org is a wonderful Epiphany resource…a great way to signify the close of the Christmas season.

Joanne at The Simple Wife has an Advent Countdown with daily treasures to share with her children. The project page has the how-to. I love the simplicity and the message…this project reminds me of Resurrection Eggs…but that’s for another special Holy Day!

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A Season of Gratitude

Over the past weeks I have been writing down what I am giving thanks for this season…

I am thankful for God and all that He is…I am thankful for His gift of grace and mercy to me… for family and friends He has provided…my husband and our daughters…a healthy holiday for our family…our home…for financial provision to pay off debt…for my calling as a mother and wife and nurse…for being part of a church home here in Nebraska…I am thankful for the friendships we have made along the way and praying for new, deep friendships to walk along the road with…I am thankful for the first snow! and the firewood we were able to gather this summer to enjoy this winter…for being able to work part time so I can be home for the kids as much as possible…for the few days we were able to spend at Disneyland just before Christmas last year (before Emily’s surprise surgery)…and for Christmas Day ’06 with caring staff, nurses and doctors at Children’s Hospital Orange County taking care of Emily (and us)…and for the love and warmth we received from Orange County Ronald McDonald house…I am thankful Emily has recovered fully from surgery and she has remained free from any further complications from the tumor…I am thankful we have had the opportunity to give to others in need…and I am thankful this season of gratitude is not just a day or moment or calendar event, but an attitude of the heart. It is a heart attitude that’s not “gutted out” or from following the latest three step self improvement plan, but a heart attitude graciously provided by a loving God who lives in me.

Check out these promises…

 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.And I will put my Spirit in you and move youto follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.You will live in the land I gave your forefathers;you will be my people, and I will be your God.”Ezekiel 36:25-28

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Great is Thy Faithfulness

Spring is just around the corner and one of my favorite verses comes to mind…

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

I love that about God, every morning is new. I think that is why I love mornings, Mondays, the first day of the month, the first day of the year…and birthdays. I look forward to the newness, to a fresh start. I am so thankful God is faithful to renew His compassions each morning, He doesn’t have to but in His infinite loving kindness He does.

Amen.

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Lost!! Well, no I am not currently lost, at least …

Lost!!
Well, no I am not currently lost, at least not technically. I walked daughter #2 to school today, much to her glee! She is an outdoors girl and walking to school offers so much adventure, even if it is just a few blocks. My motivation to walk to school is a little more practical…$3/gal gasoline. Can I get an amen, sister?
So, in my sidetracked way of doing things I decide to multitask and call my accountability partner while daughter #3 and I are walking home.
Our conversation is light, yet purposeful. We discuss what is going on in each other’s lives, share prayer requests, laugh and admonish one another. Giving full attention to the conversation, I walked and talked and walked and talked right past my home! When I realized what was happening I surveyed the scene. Being new to the area I kind of knew where I was…but I didn’t have my van with the compass in it so I needed to stop multitasking (i.e. get off the phone) and focus! Daughter #3 assessed the situation and concluded we were lost. I looked around & figured out where we were which wasn’t really too far from home.
I knew how to get home, but something kind of profound hit me. Daughter #3 doesn’t have a clue how to get home. She can’t read and looks at the world from 36″ from the ground besides not having a built in GPS system. I pondered this thought for a minute. I was once in a situation like that–lost. I didn’t have a clue how to get home. My directions home came from my loving Father in His written Word. He provided the compass, the GPS system…the way home. Today I am not lost, today I have a Compass that lives within me, thank you Jesus, thank you for leading me home.

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