Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Well, here I am to challenge you once again...
My best friend and I are still reading "10 Choices" by James MacDonald. This week is choosing to accept the bible as God's word (paraphrased because it is too late for me to strolling through the house to get the book...). So the challenge he posed at the end of the chapter we are reading is the following:
Get up every day for 30 days straight and read the bible for a half hour before you do anything else including getting dressed, taking care of the children, household chores, etc.
This is not an easy feat (especially for those of us who are night owls). Satan will do everything possible to keep you from doing this too. He will cause people to need you, put thoughts of procrastination in your head, and cause you to snooze too long. However, for real spiritual growth we need to be devoted to learning God's truth and applying it and the only way to do this through reading scripture.
MacDonald recommends that you start in John and then move on to John 1, 2 and 3. Read 1 Proverb every day (just choose the corresponding chapter number with the date). I am starting my reading this morning. So about 5 hours from now, I will be back at this desk and reading scripture. I will also be praying that a few of you out there will choose to do the same.
Let the reading begin!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
We are all sinners and the only way to be forgiven for our sins and go to heaven is to trust in Jesus as our Savior. There is no magic, no amount of good deeds, and no hope in mankind that will save you from your sins. You have to confess that Jesus died for your sins,ask forgiveness for those sins, and then turn from your sinful ways. This is the only way.
With all of the hype that Oprah is getting with her "Best Life" stuff, I felt the need to make it clear that this blog is not about becoming "spiritual" in a new age world view. This blog is about growing as a follower of Jesus Christ and learning more about the biblical standards we are held to as Christians.
I am reading and learning more and more everyday about what I need to change and apply to grow stronger in my faith. But in all of the learning, I have failed to explain to all those reading what type of spiritual journey I am on.
I take it for granted that Christians are the only ones reading this, but this is the Internet...I hope I have made this clearer and if anyone has questions, feel free to ask...I invite all of you to learn and grow with me.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I am embedding part 1 of 8. Please go to see the others in order in their entirety. Completely mind blowing stuff here!
He preaches on a various array of topics that the world tells us to live one way and the Bible differs. He talks about Titus 2 and being a Titus 2 woman. He delves into the fact that Titus 2 is not for all women, but specifically for married women. He speaks about raising youth in a biblical manner and not a worldly manner and what that entails.
He goes into what it means to be reverent in behavior:
- quiet spirit
- not boisterous
- not drawing attention to oneself
- bringing honor to God and not oneself
- do not become loud and obnoxious
He discusses how biblical women are to speak. "Biblical women use words to build others up and not tear them down".
Older women are to train the younger women in the way to live their lives. When the bible speaks of wise women it is not speaking of wisdom in age, but wisdom through character.
Please pay attention to the portion where he speaks of the "Wife Swap" (I am unsure which part it is in). I have NEVER looked at working in this light. Very eye opening.
I have caught myself saying on many occasions "I just am not sure if I could ever love another child as much as I love Jules." and of course, he goes on to completely debunk this way of thinking through a biblical perspective.
He speaks clearly on the biblical perspective of being spirit filled:
- address one another w/psalms, hymns, songs and worship together
- give thanks in all things with prayers of thanksgiving
- submit to one another
He talks a lot about how you are to submit yourselves to the vision your husband has established for your family. You are not to contradict your husband in public under any circumstance (HELP!! Please pray for me in this area). You are to lay your endeavors aside to fulfill your role as a wife and mother.
I have a lot to chew on here and I hope you all are willing to listen to this 8 part series and openly discuss your thoughts and comments here with me. I would like to not be growing alone, but learning and growing together with my friends and family.
May God bless us and open our hearts as we strive to learn and apply the teachings on becoming a biblical woman.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I am involved in a small group bible study, I lead a women's bible study, and I meet once a week with my best friend for another book study and accountability. These things are all wonderful and I really have learned what my life is all about. I am learning about reflecting God's glory back to Him through my deeds and actions. However, in all of this learning, I have become quite overwhelmed as well. The more I learn, the more I see how much more there is to change.
Right now, at this moment in time, I am studying on making the right choices, becoming a woman (mother, housewife, entrepreneur, chef, maid, etc.) who pleases God, to stand up for Christ, to have a character that models Christ, and so much more. How in all of this learning do I apply it all? Am I not focusing enough on one area, am I spreading myself too thin, am I missing something here?
Yep, yep, and yep...(light bulb comes on) I am allowing myself to be so overwhelmed in the details that I am missing the big message. What is that you ask? In order to get it together, I need to be in God's word daily. (I have had this same conversation with my husband and my best friend on many occasions. I just figured that there are others of you out in cyberland that may be struggling as well). I keep saying that I am "reading" my bible a lot (which is somewhat true). I read all of the passages that go along with the plethora of books I am reading, however, those are just chosen verses not the entire context! Wow what a difference context makes!
So, after much talking about "doing something" about my lack of reading and applying God's word I have decided as of yesterday to research different ideas of where to start, what to read first, etc. I have chosen a daily plan that I found on an ESV Bible website that I use quite often when I don't have my bible handy. It is called Every Day in the Word (catchy title!) http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/devotions/every.day.in.the.word/?date=2009-01-01 .
There are so many people that firmly disagree that you should do a "bible in a year" or other plans like this since they lack the application process and hinder the reader from gaining any real knowledge through the reading of the text. I, however, have a different thought on this. For me, I need structure and a plan or I will fail. I am not a self-driven or easily motivated person. I am a creature of habit who needs things to be spelled out easily for me. This plan does that. I will not be following it as a "bible in a year" program. I am merely using it as a guide to get me reading daily and making the bible a life guide instead of just another reference book.
This plan has me reading one New Testament chapter, one Old Testament chapter, one Psalm, and a Proverb daily. This may seem like a lot, but I have learned through each study I am involved in that we as Christians should be spending a bulk of our time in God's word and marinating in it. As those of you who know me can attest to, I can find plenty of time each day for the things of the world (shopping, Internet, e-mail, TV, etc.). Now I just need to reassess what I do in this free time.
So why not jump in head first? Christ gave His life so that I may live in eternity with Him. Is that not enough motivation to live my life to reflect His glory?
I am in faith going to be obedient to God by studying his truth and in return He will be glorified. I am taking this step towards gaining the biblical knowledge that I lack. I am asking for your prayers as I try to make this a habit and not just another passing thought not put into action.
As you can tell and will be able to tell as you read this blog, I am not a very private person. I have just learned so much recently about being authentic and I think by putting it all out there may help others who are struggling with the same issues. I hope this helps someone else to dive in head first!
God is in control of my life, it is about time I give Him back the steering wheel.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
That is all fine and dandy except for the fact that I really want this year to matter. I want every year from here on out to matter. So each year from here on, I want to take a biblical principle and try to apply it to my life. This year is going to be restitution. There are so many people that I have hurt up to this point in my life whether it be on purpose or by accident. I want to make sure they all know that I am truly sorry and I want to ask them to forgive me. I want to change for the better in every aspect of my life so this is a beginning. With that said...
I just had a very interesting thing happen this afternoon...
I was putting all of my Christmas decorations away which includes packing up my beautiful houses that sit beneath my tree. MY mother bought my sister and I each 2 houses every year from 1997-2000. This meant that we each had 8 houses total. While packing the houses I was looking at the years that were written on the bottom of each box. We had our first initial and the year written on each of them so we would know whose was whose. Then the strangest memory entered my mind. I vaguely remembered switching houses one year because I liked my sister's better than mine (quite the usual in our household). It all went south from there...
As I was remembering this awful deed, it all came flooding back like a bad nightmare. I didn't just switch houses, I actually rewrote the initials on the boxes so no one would know. It was so obvious how I did it, but somehow I got away with it.
So there I am sitting on my living room floor rifling through boxes to find the house that was not mine. (still hoping all the while that I am remembering wrong)There it was in black and blue ink! I really did this! So I then started to feel awful. I could easily get away with letting things go (this was 12 years ago, who cares now?). I decided to do the right thing and call my sister and fess up to everything.
I explained to her what I had done (as a jealous teenager) and told her to look at her boxes. There were 4 boxes 2 with "A 97" and 2 with "M 97" written on them. I changed the one "A 97" to say "MELISS A 97" and the other to say "A M Y 97". I realize now how wrong this was and I do feel awful. I am just grateful that my sister is used to my shortcomings and forgave me.
After she forgave me she said, "Now put that on your blog!". So, Amy, here it is. I am truly sorry for all of the awful things I have ruined for you over the years. This includes, but is not limited to:
Eating your Chinese food and telling you I threw it away because it had maggots in it, switching Christmas houses, telling you what gifts you were getting for Christmas (and birthdays), taking your clothes (I might still have some), and of course for always tagging along with you when I wasn't wanted.
I love you and am glad you are still willing to call me your sister. I hope you have noticed that I have made many changes to my character since those days. As I grow as a Christian, I am sure there will be many more things that I realize I have done to you and I will yet again come begging for forgiveness.