Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Don't Like Valentine's Day Poem!

Thought you would enjoy this playful valentine poem by my talented 12 year old daughter! And if you would please leave a small comment, she would love to read it.

Valentine's Day

There’s a certain day in February

I don’t practically like

It’s all about love and that fluffy pink stuff

That make me feel silly inside

I guess its just cuz no ones ever confessed their love

To a girl as strange as me

But I won’t let it get me down

No I won’t let get me down

It’s the 14th my mom and dad are out

My brothers they have there own lives, they don’t like to talk about

My friends they all call me spazing over one guy

Lucky them

But I’m not normal

I don’t need anyone to make me feel special

So I’m home alone again

But I won’t let it get me down

No I won’t let it get me down

Cuz on this day what I do is not ordinary

I watch Titanic over and over again

I feel sad and cry at the end

Cuz it’s kinda frantic but at the same time romantic

Then maybe I’ll eat candy while watching Bride Wars

Falling over laughing on the floor

Cuz Anne Hathaway is making my day

Nothing could go better though inside i wish it could

Even though mostly everyone in Titanic drowned

I won’t let Valentines day get me down

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Early American History

As most of my regular readers/friends know, I am not shy about speaking my opinion. I was just yesterday called a "fiery friend" by a dear friend, and wondered if maybe just some of the time, I cross the line of comment to challenge, or response to uninvited rebuke. Even as I ponder this latest comment, I find myself long-winded answering a comment by my nephew (whom I wish I knew better, and he my family).

I love God, family and country! Though this doesn't mean I don't love anyone or anything else. It does mean I rarely am at a loss for words about these three topics. I guess you could say I am quite fiery (excited, lit-up, motivated) to talk about them.

And I am like anyone else on these three often "touchy" topics, just learning, formulating my thoughts, gelling my foundational beliefs. Therefore, though I espouse my comments with passion, I also embrace truth and am willing to confront the errors in my logic or knowledge.

Having said this, now I will give my response to my nephew, that would have been much too long for a facebook comment response (some would say too long for a blog....)

Bondage in Sin to Slavery of People

It is quite interesting to me (but very understandable why) you jump from "being set free from the bondage, penalty and power of sin" as a choice for God (faith in God) to broadly describing a Nation as "savagely and greedily eradicate the native american population and forcefully enslave millions of captured people from Africa". It appears to me that your view of American History has not been shaped by the study of original documents.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kabul 24 - Book Review - Booksneeze

Afghanistan is not a place that many people have ever visited. Truly it is hard for most of us to understand the government, culture, beliefs and living conditions of people we have never seen. Kabul 24 helped me to see the people of Afghanistan through the eyes of someone who has been ministering to these people over two decades.

I think every politician in Washington making decisions about America's policies with Afghanistan and the military going to serve this area, should be required to read this book. Kabul 24 allows the reader to understand who the Taliban, the current Afghanistan government and the Afghanistan people, truly are in an excellent written, fast-pace story of Shelter Now International (SNI) workers imprisoned and tortured after being 'set up' for proselytizing Muslims.

I learned more in this book than in any history lesson. People of different Nations cannot be treated the same or as Americans, they are unique people with a life and worldview that can only be understood by someone who has first-hand knowledge of the people. It is amazing to see that the governments and Taliban don't reflect the views of the common people and need to be seen separately for who they are.

We are blessed to have this inside view and need to learn from the experiences people have who love the Afghanistians by committing their lives to serve the people of this Nation. If you would like to understand the mindset of terrorist who are bent on destroying Christians and infidels (including all of Americans) do yourself a favor and read this book to be informed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Living Off The Reserve -Pretending

When we are raising our children we are told to let them have lots of pretend play. We buy the plastic kitchen, with pots and pans and food that is hard enough to be a soft ball. We sit at the toddler table and let them take our order. And yes, we smile with delight when the fake food is served, as though we have been given the best any finest chef could provide. I have drank many imaginary drinks and even asked for refills!

Isn't it true that as adults we often play the same game? We go about daily living like we have had a morning feast from God's table but truly we are faking it and living off of the reserves that we obtained through previous intimate prayer, Bible study and retreats. The fact is sadly true; the older we are in the Spirit, the more reserve we have to fall back on and we can fake a current vibrant walk more easily.

We know what the walk looks like - peaceable, loving, giving, caring, joyful, etc. So we preform those qualities and to most it looks as though we just broke bread with the Lord in private meditation of His Word and sweet refreshing communication between a Father and daughter that truly love each other.

The sermon I heard Sunday was about living a life that is totally surrendered. The key verse was Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, That you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God which is your reasonable service."

I learned so much about this verse:

"mercies of God" - We go to God because of his mercies, not motivated by fear. I know anytime I have not been spending quality time with Him, He is not going to berate me, but joyful accept me no matter how undeserving His favor might be. He loves me, that will never change.

"present" - This is the coolest part of the verse that I learned newly about. Present is in the Greek tense of a verb that means once! Think about marriage to your spouse. You get married once. You may fight and not be in fellowship, but you are still husband and wife - in relationship.

"reasonable service" It is the most logical, sensible, reasonable thing to do for any thinking human.

I am "all in" on this relationship. I offer God everything I am, have and will be. He "calls me" and I willingly show my hand. In exchange for my few "chips" in turn He presents me His reward! It is a no brainier. I gladly trade all I have to be his adopted daughter and have all that is His that He freely gives to me.

But this is the point, I was making from the start. He is daily, moment by moment, available. His arms are open. His wisdom is available. His resources are endless.

Still, I have to go freshly before Him to receive my daily treasures, my fresh bread, the mercies I will need for this day! His mercies are new every morning, but they do me little good if I skip my time with Him and never receive them.

How about you? Are you living off of your reserve pantry? Are you, like me, often pretending to eat fresh daily bread when in reality you are eating a plastic apple and a cup of air?

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Things Have Come

Repurposing! This has become a big new word in my vocabulary. It has all started with renting a booth, a vignette (sounds so nicer), at a local Antique Store off the downtown square in my lovely southern town.

I love old things. I could stay "lost" in an Antique Mall for days. Each item holds memories for someone, if not for me. I imagine what it would be like in those old days, or how an item was used, or who owned it.

It is especially fun when I see something from my own childhood. Like two days ago I was walking around another Antique store on our downtown square and I saw a little round gold colored compact. I knew exactly what it was! My great-aunt always had one just like it on her make-up table. When we were visiting we got to give her those big 'clown-like' rosy cheeks as we helped her get ready for the day.

It was $10 so I passed on it. This is only the second one I have seen since I have been an adult. I need to go back and get it. Every-time I hold one in my and, you would think I was holding the 'hope diamond' kept in a special lighted case in the Smithsonian Museum. It is special because the little rouge compact is connected to happy memories of times long gone, but the impact of those memories remain endearing to my heart.

The Bible verse I read this morning is 2 Corinthians 5:17:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (NASB) or

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (NKJV)
I am reading both the New American Standard Bible and the New King James Version. These versions are very close, but I figure I might be able to glean something from one that I miss in the other translation as I meditate on the verse.

This year I am going to study a verse a week. This doesn't mean I wont be reading any other Bible. It just means I am setting a small obtainable goal for spiritual growth.

So let me share what I have pondered about this verse:

"Therefore" - that tells me this verse is in context of the Chapter. This statement is a summary, or conclusion thought to the previous verses.

"if anyone is in Christ" - the point of this verse, the truth of its words, apply to people who are truly Christians, born from above, living in a Master/servant, Father/child, Authority/subject relationship. And being born again, being indwell-ed by the Holy Spirit, living in Christ.

"he is a new creation," "he is a new creature" - When we are in a right relationship with God, we are new. We still have our same old body, thoughts, feelings,etc. But this verse is talking about our spirit, which was dead in sin, under condemnation and penalty of death.

We are new in our spirit; our spirit is alive! We are forgiven, and have access to God's unlimited grace. We no longer are bound in the power of perpetual sin, but we have a choice. We can choose to walk by faith, repenting and asking for forgiveness when we fail. Sin no longer has control over us. Sin no longer has permanent power over us.

"The old things passed away" "old things have passed away" - The sacrificial system is over! The inability to have access to God is gone. In the old ways, once a year a priest was able to step into the holy of holies and complete the sacrificial ceremonies necessary to gain forgiveness of the sins of all the people. This way of reconciliation passed away with Christ! We can boldly enter God throne of grace any moment of every day.

"Behold" - Listen up, something important is going to be said.

"All things have become new" "New things have come"
As our old desires of the flesh, our desires to sin, no longer have a hold on us, our spirit, alive in Christ, desires to please God. We are new! We have new desires. We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to Jesus, seeking to know Him and live for Him. Our life purpose is new. Our priorities are new. Our goals are new.

We are living under a new set a laws - God's law of grace, not legalistic laws of outward righteous living. We are new driven by our inward righteousness of Jesus that has been given to us, not because we were good enough and deserved it.

Jesus died for us and made a right relationship (righteousness) possible while we were still sinners. Grace has nothing to do with what we do. It is all about what Jesus did.

So, as you ponder the beginning of this new year,
  • Are you in Christ?
  • Are you living life in a new way from when you were bound to sin?
  • Is there anything you need to repent of and receive His graceful forgiveness?
  • Are you letting go of old sinful patterns, and being holy?
  • Are you living with a new set of priorities, according to God's will?
New things have come! You don't have to do. You have to receive.

Do you glean anything else in this verse that you would like to share?