Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Whole Truth

All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I am a Bible Study nerd! I confess that I love sitting down and reading the Word, searching for new ideas or thoughts. I look forward to learning something new each day.

When preparing to study, there are a few things I must have:
- my Bible (of course)
- reading glasses for the small type
- my journal
- a cup of coffee
- my little black bag, which includes hi-liters, pencils, a few different pens and post-it notes

I always thought I was thoroughly prepared for my study time.

My study right now is The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision in the US. It is a life-changing book. It is really challenging my view of the world and the way I live.

One of the things Stearns mentions is taking scissors and cutting out all of the parts of the Bible that we don't believe or choose to ignore. Our Bible would then be full of holes! This is an echo for me. My Dad has talked about using a Sharpie to cross out all of the Scripture that we don't really believe.

all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139:16b

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you -Isaiah 43:4a

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14

We have a decision to make. We can believe God and His Word as the Whole Truth or we can treat the Bible like a buffet; picking and choosing what to believe and what to ignore.

I am trusting God on this... He is much smarter than me!

So, this morning I added a Sharpie to my little black bag, just as a reminder.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Milk Messages from God

So many times, we have said to our kids "the effort you put in, is what you get out". Whether it is sports, homework or friendships, our effort in, equals the value gained. I knew the kids weren't "getting it." So one night, I prayed and asked for wisdom.

The next morning, before breakfast, I wrote Effort on the side of our milk carton. As we sat down to our cereal, I asked the kids, "what is effort?" They both responded and we came up with an acceptable definition. I showed the kids that for the morning, our milk would represent our effort. I poured a splash of "effort" into each cup. The kids glared at me... quite upset with their lack of milk. "I only put a little effort in," I said. "When you only put a little in, you only get a little out." Then, I asked them to think about something they had to do that day.
Little Miss responded, "I have a fact quiz."
"How hard are you going to try?" I asked.
"I'm going to try like always," she decided. So, I filled her cup half-way with milk.

Mr. D said, "I have music today."
"And are you going to be a good listener and sing your best?"
"Not really," he said laughing. I gave him another little splash of milk. He wasn't happy with me.
"If you aren't going to try, you aren't going to get anything out of music today. You only get out, as much as you put in" I added, trying to help him understand. "What else do you have?" I asked him.
"I have hockey practice and I am going to try super-duper hard!" he said, grinning. I filled his cup to the point that the milk almost spilled over. The kids were both shocked by the almost overflowing cup, but they got the message.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you -James 1:5

What are you trying to teach your kids today? Ask God for wisdom. He created your kids, He knows exactly what they need to hear and how to reach them best.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dirty Windows

I lingered at the breakfast table this morning, enjoying my coffee and the rare Michigan sun. I listened to the chatter of Mr. D and Little Miss, as they anticipated the day ahead.

I broke into their conversation, "You two need to stop drawing on my windows!"

That rare sun I had previously been enjoying, caught and magnified the artwork made by food-covered fingers. Before my negative thoughts could whisk me away to that solitary island where my work is never appreciated, God whispered, "those fingerprints will be gone soon."

I stopped. Oh Lord, You are right. My sweet children are growing up before me. The preschool toys are slowly making their way to new homes and the days of full-day school are in sight. It won't be long before they stop asking me to play with them or read to them. Too soon they will want to spend their time talking with friends instead of me. It is ok, I know that is part of the process, but God, help me appreciate this time and this moment.

"I guess it doesn't bother me that much" I said, "I like your drawings, no matter where they are." Mr. D replied, "Mom, even when I'm 18, I will still draw on your windows." I laughed, I won't let it bother me... at least for today.


Friday, February 3, 2012

My to do list won't let me sleep!

I looked at the clock, the bright red numbers glared back at me through the darkness... 4:35. I had been awake for hours tossing and turning, never finding rest. I could not shut off the voices, the worry, in my head. "Please God", I prayed, "let me sleep."
As I have mentioned before, I tend to seek perfection from myself. I want to please everyone. I want everything right. There seem to be so many tasks calling for my attention right now. So many things unfinished. Rather than picking one and getting to work, I find myself paralyzed. "If I can't do it right {perfect} I'm not going to start it."
I know this is not healthy thinking. I know I need to do the tasks God has given me and not worry about others opinions. After all, I am only trying to please Him, not myself, my husband, my kids or my friends.

And then, His Word comes to me and speaks softly, reminding me. 

Photo by Danilo Rizzuti
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30
Father, help me, teach me your way. I have been trying to do things on my own again and I am not doing very well. Please give me discernment to recognize the tasks you have asked me to do and the burdens I have placed on myself. I am weary. I need you. Jesus, give me rest from my striving, Amen. 



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