Thursday, July 29, 2010

God Speaks Through Facebook

This is a face book status that I put on early this morning, and the conversation that followed it. It was challenging, and totally God filled. I thought I would re post it here for you to also soak up the wisdom that my friend provided! Please comment with your thoughts too. This is something I would really like to hear your thoughts on......

Amber We don't just want to teach our children to act like Christians, we want to teach them to think, and have the heart of a christian...otherwise we are just managing sin, not changing hearts...same goes for us...

    • Dawn
    • Amen!!


      How do we teach this?
      ...How does a Christian act?
      How does a Christian think?
      How does the heart of a Christian beat?

    • Amber
      Scripture !!!! If everything we do and say comes out of our hearts then we must make sure that what is in the heart is good! Memorize scripture, apply it in every situation, every thought, every action, and every reaction.
      Teach our children...n the same thing. If they sin, punish the sin, but teach them what God's word says about it, and how God says to live instead. Teach them how to go to scripture about everything!
      We first and foremost teach by example. What we do says a lot more to our children than what we say. (Yikes!) We teach through daily life. Pulling out God's word as each situation presents it's self.
      A Christian acts, thinks and heart beats as Christ's does. All we need to do is look at how he lived, loved, and gave. That will sum up how we should also live. Which leads back to how we should think and how our heart should beat, b/c that is where it all starts!
      So really the simple response to your questions is scripture! Read it, eat it, breath it. Teach your children to love it, to use it, to know it.

      Then of course there is prayer, and personal relationship. I know that I can read God's word, and try to apply it to my life all by my self. It doesn't work. You need prayer, you need relationship with God, otherwise you are back at the beginning with just managing and not changing! He can change you with his Word, yes, but that change also comes out of knowing Him. Because only when we KNOW Him is His Word going to take hold of our hearts!

      ~Dawn, I don't know if you were really looking for me to answer, but I felt I needed to write out my thoughts. I'm sure I didn't say anything you don't already know. Thank you for challenging me to dig deep. I would be interested to read your answers too.

    • Dawn
    • Amber, good answers....thanks.

      I find, daily, that it remains a challenge to hold fast to the Truth of the Word and live accordingly.

      Tradition has determined much of what I believed the Word to say and without getting in and digging out, ...I struggled to mesh Truth with life. (If that makes any sense...)

      For example, "the truth shall set you free." something that we're often taught in the church - but Jesus said, "...and you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." We don't understand that the word "know" there means to know with our heads, our hearts and our actions. This is why so many Believers can know the truth - but remain in bondage! They only know it with their heads...they are not LIVING it.

      Therein do I find the challenge. LIVING what is there - not the obvious - love your neighbor as yourself. But, rather the deeper issues of things like "In all your ways acknowledge Him," "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you," or something as "simple" as, "Fear not."

      So, yes, while I agree with your answer - I find it is like a good diamond, the beauty of it is not on the surface, but in the many internal cuts required inside, that allow it to reflect the light more exquisitely!
      See More

    • Amber Thanks Dawn, lots to think about now!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rehab For Coffee Addicts

Late one night over a year ago I was up talking to a friend on line. I was feeling goofy, and wrote a short bit about coffee. I was recently asked to re post it, so here for your enjoyment :)

I had to go to coffee rehab. I loved coffee to much. I drank it all the time, and wouldn't drink anything else. I was addicted.

They sent me to this place where all the doctors drank coffee. They would walk around with big mugs of it, and we would smell it everywhere we went, but they wouldn't give us any. They said it was part of our therapy, and try as we might, we couldn't even sneak in the office to get some, because it was locked in a safe.
So I pretended that I didn't like coffee anymore. I told them it was what the devil drank in the morning. Then they realized that I was cured, so they let me go. What would you know, but the first place I went was Starbucks. It..was...amazing! I was free. Free from that evil coffee rehab. It was such a horrible time in my life. I try to block it out. Now my coffee is bitter sweet. Every time I drink it I smile just a little bit for the return of coffee makes me feel all warm and fuzzy again. Then I feel sad, and tear up, but never cry for that time in my life when I was separated from my dark sweet love.

So there you have it, hope you had fun reading it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Knitting Circle

Tonight I did something new, and a little bit scary. I stepped out of my safe box, and joined a group of women that I didn't know! I was so nervous. I was a little bit scared, and I couldn't figure out what exactly possessed me to do such a thing. But I knew that I waned to meet older women, in the community, that had a similar interest. So I joined a knitting circle.

Our town has one knit shop. It is located conveniently downtown, just two miles or so from my house. Up the road from my church, and right next door to a good coffee house is an old shop full of yarns, and needles, and books of all kinds. I had been in quite a few times before, but had never bought anything because, as most local shops, it was out of my price range. I had heard though that a group of women met once a month to knit together, and I thought it might be the opportunity I was wanting to connect with the previously mentioned women. I was/am very much missing older women in my life. We have had some rough months, and the wisdom and calmness that comes with talking to, or being mentored by those elder is feeling greatly missed in my life.

I gathered my latest project, a long multi colored scarf that my four year old asked me to make for her, and I took my scared butt downtown. When I walked in the shop (all nervous and clutching my bag) the woman behind the counter said, "You came....what was your name again?" It was good to know that she remembered me from the times I had been in the shop. She took me back to an adjacent room with couches and chairs and introduced me to the three other women in the room. She informed them that I am the newest addition to their group. I sat down and we exchanged general information, such as how long we had been all been knitting. People came and went through out the evening, nine in all. These women were not all like I had pictured, although some more than others. Some were struggling in life too. They brought their complaints, and families, and jobs were mentioned. Even the coffee shop next door was discussed. (Interesting to me because our pastor owns it) The conversation covered a wide range of topics, but kept coming back to the one common thing, knitting/crocheting. It was nice to not have to think, talk or do anything out side of sit and knit. I realized at one point I felt a little bit like a different person, because my life was not revolving around someone else, or what needed to be done, or trying to let go of all the crap. I felt different, but I felt like me. Like a me that I once knew. Does that make sense? I recognized a person I used to be...just a little. I also learned new ways to knit, so that made it more interesting.

I don't see any major mentoring coming out of this group, but I do see a place to sit and just be. Most of the women ranged in age from about 35 to 65 and most were dealing with life too. Things from sickness, to kids, to divorce, to jobs. One woman introduced her self to me in this fashion, " I'm Jackie, the widow, my husband just died a few weeks ago. This is the second time I have been widowed." I really didn't know what to do with that...but she was a fun woman despite her pain. It is a community.

I was invited back. I was also invited to other knit days. Like 5-7 hours during the day, two days a week. All I could think was, how do you have that much time!? I was somewhat intrigued by this group of women. I don't know that I will continue to go back on a regular basis, but who knows....I just might.

Side note: Yay to me for posting 4 days in a row. Be amazed if it continues, this week is crazy busy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Humility Hurts

I just read Anne Jackson's post about Pride and Humility. In it she quotes out of a book she is reading; A Circle of Quiet.

Here is the quote that she quoted:

The Greeks had a word for ultimate self-consciousness which I find illuminating: hubris: pride: pride in the sense of putting oneself in the center of the universe. The strange and terrible thing is that this kind of total self-consciousness invariably ends in self-annihilation. The great tragedians have always understood this, from Sophocles to Shakespeare. We witness it in history in such people as Tiberius, Eva Peròn, Hitler.

I was timid about putting forth most of these thoughts, but this kind of timidity is itself a form of pride. The moment that humility becomes self-conscious, it becomes hubris. One cannot be humble and aware of oneself at the same time. Therefore, the act of creating – painting a picture, singing a song, writing a story – is a humble act? This was a new thought to me. Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.

I am thinking WOW! Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else! Amazing, and I think....What if we all did that? What if we all threw ourselves away on our gifts, or serving others, or even better yet: God! What if we all lived out humility the way it is talked about here! Whoa wait, what if I lived it out? How would my life change??? How would others lives change? What about my relationship with God?

One can not be humble and aware of oneself at the same time!!! Of course we can't be aware of ourselves...that would be PRIDE. This feels like a duh moment for me, so bear with me. Just think about it though. When we are humbled that is when God is apparent. When God is made big, and when He shows His power in our lives. So of course we can't be aware of ourselves, and still see His power!

God has been working on the pride in our home, and teaching us humility. When my husband could no longer work I knew that first day that God would be doing things in our lives that would stretch my faith. I knew that more likely than not it would be hard to take. So I started praying that God would help me to be humble. I have not fully reached that point. I still feel like accepting help is a failure on our part, that it makes me worthless. (Honesty is flowing tonight people~beware!) But I am willing to be open to it, and I definitely see it as God moving, showing His power, and giving His grace. I will take all of His grace I can get. The thing I didn't realize about humility though is this: It hurts. It's really hard. It doesn't feel the way I thought it would. There will always me more to learn...oh did I mention it hurts? Or that it's hard? :D

I'm tried in more ways than one tonight so I'm going to rest in His grace. I just felt like throwing this out there to you. I would love it if you threw your thoughts back.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Because I Love You, Trust Me

Tonight we went swimming. It was a blast!

Of course, God is so amazing He had to use a fun, everyday type thing to teach me a BIG lesson!!

You see, Lily loves the water, and by the time we are ready to leave she thinks she can swim on her own. Yet, when we begin swimming she always freaks out that something will happen to her, and therefore she screams. Tonight was no different we took her out and she loved it, floating around in her life vest. Then it came time to put her just a few feet away, and let her kick to me. Good practice, right? :) Anyway, the thing that really struck me was her response. She of course kicked, and screamed, and panicked, and came straight into my arms. Then she said, "Mommy don't let go of me again! I'm scared!" She had never vocalized how she felt, although it was always apparent. I told her that I needed to let go of her so that she could learn to do it on her own. She repeated herself, "Mommy don't let go of me again! I'm scared!"

That is when it really hit me. We are like that with God! We say no I don't want to let go of what I know, what is comfortable, normal, safe, or trustworthy to us! We don't want to step outside of what we know we can hang on to for safety (be it mental, spiritual, or physical). I know there are so many safety nets in my life!!!
Then came the real kicker.... I took her back out a ways, and I said to her, "Lily, I love you. Because I love you, you have to trust me, you will be ok. You may be scared but I will be right here. All you have to do is come toward me, and you will be safe." She calmed down, I let go, and she kicked right to me. Here is my major "smacked up side the head" moment. God does the same thing with us! He makes us, in various ways, let go of what is "safe" to us. He draws us out of our comfortable place into the water, then says, "Ok, now trust me. But, don't just trust me for the heck of it, trust me because I love you. Know that you will be scared, and that's ok. All you have to do is swim straight to me, and you will be safe. I will take care of you, and I will be right here because of my love for you.

I cannot imagine putting Lily in the water and leaving her to flail around. I have to be there. I have to let her go under the water, but also I have to keep her safe. I needed her to know that her safety was not in staying on the shore, but in knowing that I love her so much that I would be right there. That she may be scared, but that she would be ok if she trusted me. Father is just the same with us!

Trust is a big issue with me, and God is wildly testing that these days. I'm sure I will forget this tiny lesson, and need to be reminded over and over again. I am very thankful for tonight's Ah Ha moment though.

Friday, July 16, 2010

God is Stirring, but I Can't Focus!

God is stirring my life up. He is stirring my heart. It's amazing how you can be hit with the same thing from every angle when God is trying to share it with you.

I currently have a whiteboard in my home with a list of topics I want to post about. There are eight things on that list, and several more in my head. Yet, there is no focus in there to tell you about all things on my heart. I sat here at my computer for over an hour last night just trying to get my thoughts collected so I could write. It didn't work. So for now I will give you a post of randomness, and perhaps that will clear my head.

Brian has been off work for almost two months now. He separated his shoulder. How? you say. I have no idea. There are things that are suspect but nothing that flips the light switch on! So, we have not had an income for most of this time. AH! God is teaching me, and prodding me to trusting him more and more. He knew it would have to be something big to work on my trust issues. But seriously, I'm ready for this training session to end!

Lily is more fun, and bold, and challenging :) everyday. She is growing, and learning, and testing her limits. Yay! She is more and more of a little girl and less of my baby every day. :( Sometimes I think she is just to smart for me, and I become baffled every time she tries to reason with me. I try to use the bible to instruct her when she is doing wrong, and she has started to turn it back on me. Yikes!

My days are different now. With my husband home, and my daughter needing more of me I struggle with routine, and grasping a normal day. As I write this, I am also trying to tune out the fact that I no longer have my quite days. I have a husband who likes to fill silence (tv, xbox, music, idol chatter) and a daughter that is very much off her routine as well. I do my work when I can, but I feel counteracted. I think, pray, read, and write when I can. Not often.

Although, we had a week with out internet, and it turned out to be a blessing. I spent that time catching up on reading. I still have about 10 books left in my pile, but I got 3 down in that week!

Today, we are going to meet friends for an evening at the pond, a bonfire, and a picnic. Relaxing! So I should really be preparing for that. I wish I could focus more. I wish I could share my thoughts, and all God is teaching with you more clearly. Soon. I hope.

Psalm 118:28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks

Psalm 37:7 Rest in Jehorah and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret...