Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, August 31, 2009
as Christians, we are very clearly called to be givers. i think most people hear that and automatically think, "tithe". while surely that is a part of it, it cannot end there. even assuming that a tithe is sufficient, many seem to give based off of a salary. what about gifts? do we think about receiving money and things in ways other than wages as things that need to be given back to God? When is the last time a friend took you out for lunch and paid for it? was that not a "gift" that should be given back? What did you receive at Christmas? how much money do you think it cost for the things that are GIVEN to YOU?! it is almost impossible to keep track of that kind of math. which turns the question not into how much do i HAVE (as in need) to give, but how much do i HAVE (as in how do i possibly repay all of the blessings in my life) to give. When the attitude transforms from clenching fists to try to hold onto whatever we CAN and turns into open hands returning to God whatever He asks, whatever we are giving probably feels totally insufficient.
and it doesn't end there. we are to GIVE GIVE GIVE everything we have to help our neighbors, our brothers, sisters. this can seem to be an overwhelming task, but again, when we are aware of another's need, if the attitude isn't, "well, i need to keep x amount and i don't have anything left to give" and instead the attitude is, "what can i sacrifice or go without to help this person?" i think we'd find ourselves able to give more and clutch less.
i'm sure there are a variety of excuses, and it may come down to a drastic lifestyle change to give the way we are meant to. i definitely don't give enough! it's an area i'm trying to improve on. what does it look like to not just give money, but time?! what does it look like when we take the time to love people that don't seem worthy of our love? i'm challenged regularly when i see others loving people that i don't like in a way that i wish i could. it's very humbling. there was a time when i may have said,"better them than me," or "somebody's got to do it,". but now i feel ashamed.
if we're honest, a lack of giving is selfishness and a lack of trust in God. it says that we are responsible for providing for ourselves and family and that God is not in control. it says that OUR needs are more important than OTHER peoples needs. it reeks of arrogance, which is not a stench i want lingering around me.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
a friend of mine used stickers with her boys and when caleb hung out there on sunday he also got stickers for going on the potty. we have a new hit. (we still use m&ms but ONLY when he poops on the potty after he tells us he has to go. it doesn't count if we suggest it first). so now we have a piece of paper taped to the back of the bathroom door. after he goes, he gets to pick a sticker to put on the paper. usually he picks a big smiley face. last night he picked a blue ribbon. i thought it was odd today when he picked a little star and i was on the phone with my mom so we could all celebrate his victory together so i wasn't really paying attention to WHERE he put the sticker. i just found it. and here it is, his very own little creation:
notice that the star is almost smack-dab in the center? that's my boy!! :D
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
After service Camee asked if we wanted to join her and her boys for lunch. When i told her that i thought it was impotant for Caleb, my mom and i to have some time alone, she asked if Caleb would want to come over so my mom and i could have some time alone together. i readily accepted. For at least the last year and a half the only time my mom and i have had alone together outside of the house was when we were making funeral arrangements. i don't think we've ever had a meal together where one or both of us wasn't also busy with Caleb. it was refreshing and such an amazing blessing.
My mom and i have gotten to grow so much closer to one another over this past year and i wouldn't trade it for anything. This last year, with all of its heartbreak, has been an incredible learning and growing experience. i've had boldness that i've never known before, peace that i've never known before, and felt love that i've never known before.
There's a saying from somewhere that you grieve for a year and a day. i wonder if my "year" wasn't the anniversary of when my dad went to the hospital for the last time. Either way, the year and a day are over and i LITERALLY feel like a weight has been lifted. And i'm greatly looking forward to what God has in store for my future.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
having said that, i thought i'd start by sharing a bit of a conversation that i had with a friend the other day. we were discussing the power of words. quite frankly, swearing doesn't offend me. i think the majority of people either don't know any better or it's just become such a part of their vocabulary that they are completely unaware of it. and yet, there are times when i am grossly offended. it took some time to figure out what the difference was. cursing should be an attention-grabber. that's why it's called "strong language". but shouldn't all language be strong? shouldn't my words carry weight and meaning regardless of what they are? "offensive" words change within cultures and times. words take on new meaning, invoke different responses. it's the meaning behind them and also in the way they are perceived that make them offensive.
what i have discovered is that i'm offended by "offensive" words when they are used intentionally superfluously. if you are relying on your words to carry weight then you should only have to use them once. if i go around cursing like a sailor, i may have to say things a few times for people to know that i "mean" it. the same applies to "non-offensive" words. if i always say, "awesome", "amazing", "epic", it should mean something and not be something that i say just to fill in a gap or because i feel prompted to respond a certain way.
so i've challenged myself to keep my words few and meaningful. i don't want to be perceived as rude, but i'm not going to talk about things that are unimportant to break the silence or to sound cool.
kind of ironic since i'm starting a new blog, huh?