Category Archives: The Church

Half-Blind

It’s really difficult to see who you really are everyday, like being half blind.

Other people see you through the lens of their hurts and experiences, and some only see a sliver of who you are, never seeing you outside that situation. People often say, “Ask someone what they think about you?,” but that’s dangerous. What they say may not be true.

Words tear down as well as build up, and the blindness we all have makes us unable to see our own faults. I can see my strengths, and almost forget my weaknesses. Not recognizing my weaknesses can make me lack compassion to others, and recognizing my weaknesses gives me humbleness before God.

That is a thing I seek–to be humble and to be the person God wants me to be, and I pray that all the time.

Definition of Righteousness

Romans 10:10

10 Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation.

When asked at my Bible Study what Righteousness meant, it was defined as, “Right standing with God.” Right standing with God can feel like a process. I came to Christ in 2002, but I came dirty, thirsting, and struggling.

It took time, and I am still growing from when I and my husband became a disciple of Christ. Right standing with God is a process of one good decision at a time. Like what we studied last week of the woman at the well. She had five husbands and the one with her at the time was not her husband (John 4).

Sin is a struggle. As a young, single adult, I struggled being right with God. I sought Him all my life. So when someone is living with someone or sleeping with them, they have my compassion. The temptation is difficult. But to stop struggling is worse. You should continue fighting for what is right. So you may mess up.

But tomorrow is a new day to begin anew. To try again. Older Christians take for granted sometimes the strength new Christians don’t yet have that time and prayer in the Word gives. So, I believe, right standing with God is a process; even a long process as we grow in Him.

Personal Apathy

Today I am thinking about personal apathy. What if we, as Christians, did something different in our lives? Rather than hang out with our usual crowd on Sunday mornings, why not look around and get to know someone new? What if, after we ‘liked’ something a friend did or said, that we followed up on that relationship with something physical–a gift, a visit, or maybe a phone call or a text?

I came across Kyle Tennant’s book, Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern, and Decide About Social Media, and I am tempted to read it. In the interview (that I can’t find again), he said something about social media making us relationally lazy.

What struck me was this:

“Without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Kyle challenges the Christian to a God-honoring approach to social media involvement. Well researched and thought through, Unfriend Yourself avoids the emotional arguments and instead presents a provocative ‘must read’ for any students, young adults, and generations beyond who want to be responsible in approaching social media from a biblical worldview.” – Dr. Bob MacRae, Professor of Youth Ministry at Moody Bible Institute

I think it’s something I will put on my to-read list on Goodreads. Last year, I recognized my own apathy in regards to missions. Everyone has an area in their life where apathy reigns in silence. You may not know it, like I did not know my own apathy, and maybe it’s time to see.

 

 

#222Prayers Thankful For New Things

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

Read Ezra 7:27-28

Yesterday, my husband and I, and a group made our way up Mt. Humphreys in Northern Arizona during one of our bad weather days. I am thankful for what God did during this fundraiser and thank you for being a part of it. Please enjoy the pictures on this beautiful Sunday morning!

 

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Please go to ISF and see this wonderful missions organization!

*Affiliate Links.

 

#222Prayers – Victory

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

2 Chron 20:6-12

2 Chron 20:20-25

222prayers

*affiliate links

Praying for Victory #222Prayers

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

2 Chron 20:6-12

2 Chron 20:20-25

222prayers5-1

*Affiliate Links.

 

The Powerful and Corrupt #222Prayers

According to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible-KJV-Large Print, there are 176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 prayers in the New Testament. I first heard about this reference (found here) during a prayer meeting. For the next several Sundays I will post a prayer in regards to each section of scripture mentioned until I have gone through all 222 prayers.

222prayers1

*Affiliate Links.

 

No Internet No #222Prayers

Rain makes mornings like these peaceful. It’s a slow drizzle and a gray day. The only thing missing is access to the internet.

Today I can’t post a #222prayers because Centurylink can’t get to our house before August 11 to repair the internet. I am typing this via phone and will have to use coffee shops’ WiFi to get work done during the week.

Hopefully next week I will be back on schedule.

When You Gossip…

Not everyone survives the initial cost of being the target of gossip.

Eventually, you might believe the false things said about you and walk away from church altogether without realizing the few people who did the talking are nothing like the many people who love well. I am blessed to know the many who love well, and they do exist, but gossip in its own way is a form of persecution.

Words can break a person. So when you speak, measure your words. It’s not easy and you won’t always be successful. The tongue is difficult to tame, and even the most likable person can give in to the temptation of gossip or not realize they have gossiped. Gossip divides. It does not build up.

So when you are tempted to talk, ask yourself these questions:

1: What is your motivation for talking against them, especially in a public place?

2: Do you wish them well and want them to succeed?

3: What would they say if they could hear you?

4: Are you prepared to be wrong?

5: Do you want them to walk away from Christian fellowship because of what you said?

6: Are you glad for their misfortune?

You take away a person’s ability to trust others in his or her church when you participate in gossip.

What Sense of Community?

orphansMy sister-in-law wants to go on our next short term missions trip. Others have also expressed a tentative interest in missions. I laughed with my husband when we considered the selling points of a short term missions trip:

“Let’s tell people about Honduras and how they should go on a short term missions trip. Let’s tell them how depressed they will get for an entire month after coming home.”

My husband smiles. He laughs, too. Both of us felt depressed a month after arriving home; me longer than him. I live in a place where we frankly do poorly at community (among other things). People would much rather spend two seconds liking a status than having conversation over coffee on a Saturday afternoon.

The reliability of people in our area under 60 years of age is bad. Like David Jeremiah said: We are a generation where we like to keep all options open. This means not committing to anything–not church, not a party on a Saturday night, and not to coffee. Not even to a Bible study.

That’s what depressed me.

I spent nine days in a place ripe with love and companionship where people have 3 o’clock coffee in person to a place that is so busy, of people who fill their time and their kids time with stuff, that no one has time to make community. This place is so starved for community that small churches have formed in our area. Small groups are popular. So I have to wonder if we are making Sunday church convenient for our community time so we can still fill our hours with stuff during the week?  That’s the way it feels like anyway.

God used Honduras to change us; to change me. That’s why I began brainstorming how to be…different. I hope to launch my new website in January, 2015 where I will explain this “difference.”  God’s been calling me to something “different” for over a year now.

I’m listening now, God. Direct my steps. I want your will in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.