A Surprise Idol
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen…” Rev. 2:4,5
Our Lord is not comforted by the respectability of our idols. He is not less grieved when we choose a more dignified god to make love to. Imagine a husband discovering that his wife is having an affair with a wealthy, highly respected man in the community. He confronts her and she admits her guilt. But then she adds, “But he’s a great guy, very intelligent, fun, and quite well off. At least I didn’t fall for a janitor or a gardener or someone like that.” Would he take solace in the status of his rival lover? Would his heart be less shredded because she had given herself to someone highly respected? Of course not.
And this, it seems to me, is exactly what is happening in this passage. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” are not words of minor correction, but the heart cry of a wounded Lover. What was the church of Ephesus guilty of? Idolatry. Or in other words, spiritual adultery. But the rival lover was so respectable, so dignified, that one would be easily tempted to write it off as a slight misstep. But Christ sees it as no mere misstep, but an out and out fall. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen…” Let me say it again, our Lord is not comforted by the respectability of our idols.
So what was the idol of the Ephesian church? Money, sex, prestige…? No, something far more seductive to committed Christians - ministry. Significant ministry. Christ-focused ministry. Ministry which received our Lord’s commendation. “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.” But ministry, important as it is in the believer’s life, can still become an idol. A highly respected idol. A highly accepted idol within the church. A highly praised idol by other believers. But an idol is an idol is an idol. And it still grieves the heart of our Savior because it is still adultery against Him any way you slice it. And what an astonishing, astonishing truth all this raises. Our Lord desires intimacy with us over service by us. (Lk. 10:38-42) He yearns passionately to be alone with us, to enjoy the intermingling of our spirit with His, and waits eagerly for us to join Him in the dance of the ages. But to join Him in that unrivaled dance, we must turn our back on the myriad of other partners who would woo us away. And perhaps the most seductive of all those partners is ministry. Certainly it is the most respectable. But good as it is, it is still an it. And our souls are made for a Him.
Copyright © 2010 Kindling For The Fire. All Rights Reserved.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
A baby's turned a stable into holy ground
God is holy. I think too many people forget that God is to be revered. When we pray the Lords prayer, a model prayer, we begin with,
The first thing we do is state His holiness, we honour Him, we glorify Christ! Why is it that in many contemporary services, the first thing people do is sing songs about How great God is because of what He did for us? This is the number one reason I do not like contemporary services, as a general rule. The services are self centered, and not God centered. It's not bad to be thankful for what God has done for you, but first we are to hallow His name; and by consecrating His name, we are glorifying the King!
In reading the Bible, it begins with,
It does not begin with you or me. The New Testament begins with
Once again, it begins with Christ. In a world filled with selfishness, a Christmas season, where people forget to hallow and glorify The King, my favourite Christmas carol this season is, "The Little Drummer Boy."
A newborn King to see (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Our finest gifts we bring (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
To lay before the King (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
So to honor Him (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
When we come
Little baby (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
I am a poor boy too (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
I have no gifts to bring (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
That’s fit to give a King (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Shall I play for You (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
On my drum, on my drum
I play my drum, I play my drum for the One who saved me
Mary nodded (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
The ox and lamb kept time (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
I played my drum for Him (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
I played my best for Him (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Then He smiled at me (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum)
Me and my drum, me and my drum
I play my drum, I play my drum for the One who saved me
I write this blog for the One who saved me...I spend time in the Word for the One who saved me...I serve others for the One who saved me...What do you do for the One who saved you? How do you glorify the King? How do you hallow His name? What gifts do you bring our Saviour?
Friday, December 24, 2010
- BQ--Qualify for the Boston Marathon
- PR--By qualifying for Boston, I will make a personal record
- Continue having fun running
- Run a 3:30 marathon--8:00 min/mi pace
- Consistently weigh my ideal weight
- Eat proper and healthy
- Enjoy continued good health
- Be a better bump skier
- Learn to pole plant and use my poles when I ski
- Have a group of girls who love me enough to tell me when I'm outta line...I desire an accountability group, a core group
- Disciple a young woman
- Share Christ with someone
- Find a good community in H-town
- Be more involved with local missions
- Go on another short term mission trip
- Be a better math teacher
- Be a better cook
- Play more cribbage
- Save $8,000 (ideally $10,000, but once I put money in my IRA, I don't think this is going to be possible)
- See my Grandma and extended family on Mom's side
- Spend time with my Grandparents and extended family on Dad's side
- Be a better daughter to my parents
- Be a better sister to my brother
- Be a fabulous sister to my new sister, Molly, Levi's fiance
- Be a better friend
- Be in a dating relationship
- Spend more time with God
- See God more clearly
- Love God more dearly
- Follow God more nearly
Thursday, December 16, 2010
- When I told the students they were not allowed to eat in the classroom, including cupcakes, a student retorted, "Miss T, you need to eat about 20 cupcakes. Men like thick women."
- I have a student that likes to greet me with, "Hey girl!" At first this bothered me, now I find it kind of amusing.
- After asking a student about her father, another girl chimes in, "Miss T, black people don't have Daddy's."
Sunday, December 05, 2010
The soft X.
December 1, 2010
I cried in the Chicago Airport.
And these were not tough guy, lumberjack, I just punched a mountain lion in the face with my bare fist kind of tears. These were sad and tired and give up tears.
I was flying home from a conference in Chicago. I had been the closing keynote speaker and it had gone really well. That’s not what I was crying about though. I was crying because of what I knew would happen when I landed.
I knew I would take the train to my car, grab work clothes, change in the handicapped stall and then disappear into a sea of cubicles. I didn’t hate my job, not at all, it just wasn’t what I felt called to do. The Stuff Christians Book wasn’t out yet, but the site was doing well. I had this completely different life starting to develop and it was hard to go back to work and act like Chicago had all been just a dream.
This was long before the opportunity at Dave Ramsey. This was a doldrums period where I was just writing and writing and writing, but things weren’t happening the way I thought they would.
I sat in meetings about TPS reports and budgets and would get frustrated with God, wondering if he even saw me. Wasn’t he the one who put this burning in my heart? Wasn’t it his call that I was answering? This wasn’t how life was supposed to go.
Have you ever felt that way?
Has there ever been a situation where you had an expectation that you felt like God simply wasn’t meeting? I think most of us have experienced that.
Right now, someone reading this blog is mourning a marriage that fell apart. You wanted to be the first in your family to have a grandkid for your parents, not the first to get divorced.
Right now, someone is in a gray cubicle and the degree they got, the passion they followed in college is a million miles away from how they spend 40+ hours every week.
Right now, there’s someone struggling with an issue that refuses to release it’s talons even though you’re occasionally able to shake it for a few “good weeks.”
Right now, someone had to send out wedding cancellation notes, because it’s off.
Right now, there’s a man who feels a lot less than a man because he doesn’t have a job and can’t provide for his family.
Right now there are a million different versions of “Don’t you see me God?” happening. And so we doubt and get angry and lonely. But we are not the only ones with expectations that go astray.
In Genesis 48, the same thing happens to Joseph, of the double rainbow coat fame. He has brought his two sons to his father Israel for his blessing. We don’t understand this culturally because we don’t really do this anymore, but this was a critical, massive thing that was about to take place. Manasseh was about to receive Israel’s blessing. That was what should happen. That was what Joseph expected.
Joseph the faithful. Joseph the former slave, former convict, former saved all of Egypt from death and destruction. Joseph had a great track record at this point. He was a deeply wise man of God. He knew what was about to happen. By lineage, by tradition, by faith, Manasseh was about to get blessed by Israel.
Only he doesn’t.
It doesn’t happen that way. Instead of doing what he should have done, Israel crosses his arms and forms an X, placing his hands on the heads of the wrong children. He blesses Ephraim, the wrong son in Joseph’s mind.
And in 48:17 we see what happens: When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
Joseph has lived his entire life with one belief about how a blessing is passed down. This is his, “I got my Master’s Degree in teaching, I should get a teaching job” moment. This is his, “People get married after college, that’s what they do,” moment. This is what he’s always been ready for and it goes the exact opposite way.
So Joseph, like me or you trying to fix a mistake, says, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
And how does Israel respond? Does he say, “Oh, I am failing of sight and made a mistake?” Does he reply, “Thank you for correcting this situation?”
He says simply, “I know, my son, I know.”
And that is an incredibly tender thing to say as someone’s expectations crumble.
And I think it’s something God still says to us, even today.
“I know, my son, I know. I know, my daughter, I know. That thing you wanted is not going to happen. Not the way you’ve always dreamed. I know this hurts. I know this stings. I know you feel like I am distant or not aware of where you are and who hurt you and what you think life was supposed to be like. I know in moments like this you doubt that I can count the hairs on your head or have your best in mind. But please, I am not done. I have barely started to reveal your life to you. I am the God who satisfies your desires with good things. That is me! And when it comes to your hopes and your fears and your dreams, I know, my son, I know.”
I think of this moment as the “soft x.”
I think of the tenderness of Israel with his arms outstretched and crossed. I think of our desires and our dreams and the times they don’t work. And above all, I think of a God who wants to tell you he hears you, he loves, he knows you. He is not disconnected or disinterested in who you are and who you want to be. Today, he says,
“I know, my son, I know.”I am excited for my brother--and happy that he is getting married, although, it is difficult for me. He is my little brother. My friends in High School always thought I would be the first to get married, and have children, rather, I am not even dating, and I am the last. I like men, I keep my eyes open, and I gladly accept a date. Although, I have not found the correct man. I love Molly, Levi's fiancee--she is a beautiful woman, trying to live out life, honouring Christ.
As happy as I am for my brother (and Molly), it hurts to see him have what I have wanted since I was a little girl. It feels as though God is laughing at me. My brother will be the first to get married, my brother will have the first grandchild, what's left for me? This past year in a half has been filled with so many broken expectations, and each one of them bite, sting, and cause great pain! How about you put a little more salt on these hurting wounds?
The only thing I can do is cling to the fact that God is not done. He has just begun to reveal my life to me. I know God provides, and I know He has given me dreams, hopes, and goals for a reason. I must remember He is the God who satisfies my desires with good things.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Have fun! (I knew I could complete the 26.2 miles--I had just finished my first marathon three weeks prior!)
Goal Time: 03:45:00
Actual Time: 03:43:28 (8:31 min/mi)
Miles 1-8, I ran with my friend, Bee, and my new friend, Ed. Bee had a hamstring owie, so I chose to keep on going without her. Somewhere between miles 10 and 20, I sped up...oops, I should've kept pace. Around mile 17, a friend from church, Christy, saw me, and cheered me on! At mile 21.5 give or take, Mom and Dad came out and cheered me on. It was really cool when Dad started running with me! He asked me a couple questions--this was pretty much the only time I spoke during the 26.2 miles. It was fun to hear my Dad compare me to the energizer bunny. :) My last two miles were the absolute hardest, and I was ready to quit, although, I saw a friend, told him I needed some encouragement, and he encouraged me to keep on going. I can't remember what he said, it does not matter, he believed in me.
The last two tenths of a mile were difficult. We had to run up a little hill. As I was ready to quit, a woman looked at me and said, "look at all these men you've already beat, keep on running girl, you have it in you!" That little comment brought me to the finish line. Mom and Dad were able to get a couple pictures at the finish line. Mom even had a picture of me and a man wearing a shirt that said "Stop Forest Stop" right as I was crossing the finish line. Too bad that was on my phone, and my phone was stolen; I cannot share the picture.
I am thankful for all the encouragement I receive from people; I am thankful for people that believe in me; I am thankful for people that care for me. I am thankful for an incredible running coach.
Pictures...maybe later? They are on Dad's camera. He was able to get some great shots! :)
Thursday, November 04, 2010
He recently posted the following.
My friend used to deal drugs.
I tell you this, not to add an element of excitement to his testimony, as we are prone to do when we encounter someone who has a really crazy, Jason Bourne like testimony.
I tell you this, because two weeks ago he taught me an important lesson about faith.
We were talking about a famous singer who recently got arrested for having a bag of cocaine on him in a bathroom. The singer told the police that this was the first time he’s ever tried cocaine. When I told my friend that, he said it wasn’t true. He said it was virtually impossible for that to have been his first time. Knowing that my friend didn’t follow this musician or really have any knowledge of him, I asked him why he could be so sure of that.
Here is what he told me:
“No one carries drugs with them the first time they use. No one has the lack of fear it takes to carry a few grams of coke the very first time you try it. No one is alone in a bathroom, carrying a controlled substance the first time they have it. It starts slowly. You’re at a party where it is present. There are a few lines at a friend’s house. Somewhere you bump into it casually. You try it that way long before you decide you’ll be out at a nightclub with a bag of it in your pocket.”
That makes sense to me and more than that, it feels a lot like every other sin in my life.
Nothing I’ve ever done, whether lying or drugs, pornography or gossip, started out with a bag in a bathroom. As I’ve said before, no one wakes up on a Tuesday morning and says, “Today, I’m going to embezzle!” No one says, “At lunch, I’m going to get 10 DUIs and go to jail!” The path to completely destruction never starts out that way.
And neither did the Prodigal Son story. I can’t write about that story enough. It’s the perfect example of small steps to big stupid. In that story, we often like to think that the son got his inheritance from his father and then took a G6 jet straight to hookertown.
But that’s not what Luke 15 says. In fact, this is what we see in Luke 15:13
And not many days after the younger son gathered all together and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
Did you see that? The Prodigal Son packed. For days, he packed his bags before he left the father’s side. He took small steps. He made small mistakes and then he left.
So my question to you today, my question to me is pretty simple:
Are you packing?
Right now, today, are you packing your things to leave the safety of the father? Are you getting your things together for a disastrous trip to somewhere you’ve been before, down a path that will leave you wounded and beaten? Is your luggage laid open on your bed and you can’t get things together fast enough?
Are you packing?
If you are, tell a friend. Tell someone who knows you. Did you ever notice that about the Prodigal Son story? He had no friends. Other than the father and the older brother, no one cared that he was gone. His was a friendless existence. He packed alone.
Let’s put the luggage down. Let’s release the baggage. It’s time to stop leaving and instead start living.
Are you packing?
It makes me think about the things I do that I should not. I decide something's okay, just this once, just once more, and just once more--it becomes a habit. I am poking pins into that water balloon. A bunch of pins can create a gash the size of a knife over time.
I am thankful for accountability partners. I am thankful for the time of confession at church. I am also thankful for the assurance of forgiveness.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
- I have wanted to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) since I was 14 years old.
- I chose to run Marathon for Adoption because the money went to families that are adopting and to an orphanage in Ukraine. A piece of me is forever in Ukraine.
- I have been training to run this full marathon since February.
- My first run with my club (Run A-Way Club) was 10 miles. I was already running 30 miles/week when I started running with the club.
- I have the best coach ever, John Purnell!
- I am blessed over and over through Coach, other runners, and with amazing health.
People run for many different reasons. My marathon was a 15 year dream come true. It is also a testimony to Gods healing power. Training has been intense--I went from hardly walking, to jogging, to running 15 miles per week, to running 30 miles per week, to running 60 miles per week. Some people describe me as intense, others describe me as dedicated or driven; the dole juice box describes me as daring and playing. However you choose to describe me, this race was a personal victory! Oh and why do I run? For fun! =)
Distance: 26.2 miles
Goal: Have fun! Complete 26.2 miles!
Goal Time: Under 4 hours
Actual Time: 04:04:37 (9:20 min/mi)
Before the race I was nervous, excited, and ready to go. I was bummed that it was super humid and 80F outside. I decided my goal time might need to be revisited (it never really was). The course was quite hilly as well. I train on the flats--San Antonio and Houston are flat.
When the race started, it was still quite dark outside--this was awesome! For the first 2.5-3 miles I just ran. I had no clue how fast or slow I was going. I just went, and loved it! Early morning runs, where you just go, without looking at the heart rate, or pace, are my favourites. The first few miles were glorious in my opinion. I stopped and drank water at every water stop.
I think it was somewhere between miles 9 and 12 I was poured on. Yes, it was raining. Yes, it made the course slick.
As I approached "the summit," (up a huge hill) the half way point, I was told that I was the third female. I saw my parents, my brother and his now fiance, and my two good friends, Lauren and Steven, cheering me on. This was one of the best moments in my life. Not once has someone gone to a race of mine to cheer me on or to watch me. I think the best part of it all was Dad taking pictures, and then running about 1/10 mile with me. It took energy to hold back tears of joy. I am blessed with a family and friends that support me! I kept thinking you have 13.1 more miles to go, you cannot cry, too much energy.
The next 13.1 miles were pretty enjoyable, minus a few details.
Mile 21: My left foot went numb, and I had a really bad side stitch, and I stopped and relieved myself.
Miles 22-24: These were hard, the hills were really getting to me. I never felt like I could not run, rather I felt like I could not run another hill.
Mile 24: I was passed up by the female that won third place.
Mile 26: I could hardly believe that I was about finished! I crossed the finish line smiling. I had no clue what my time was going to be--I was happy and disappointed at the same time--4:04:37. I really wanted my time to be under 4 hours. But...I ran a good race, and my time is nothing to be ashamed of. Upon completing the race, Dad came and gave me a hug. I came in smiling, although when Dad gave me a hug, I cried--tears of joy, tears of completion, tears knowing that my family loves and supports me! At the finish line were two of the women in my club--Lisa and Tina--they had walked the half in their goal time!
This past week I have taken it a little slower, although, I was trained well and was not all that sore. Monday I ran 8 miles, Tuesday I ran mile repeats, Wednesday I ran 4 miles, Thursday 8 miles, I took off Friday, and ran 11 miles on Saturday. I am looking forward to another week of running, and my race in two weeks.
Other tidbits. I told my Mom and Dad that I would be shooting for a much slower pace. I figured given the heat and humidity, I was not going to be able to run like I had originally wanted to. I warned them that I would be slow at getting to the half way point. My mother was reiterating this to someone, also stating that it was my first full marathon. Many were pleasantly surprised when I reached the summit, and it was stated that I am a legitimate runner. :) This was a great comment to me! I'm legit!
Friday, October 01, 2010
Sarah, a friend of mine from HS, posted the following in her blog; "I will not lie, I'm terrified that Jesus will abandon me, but that's against his character and against his word, and I know that to be true." I could not agree with her more!
I have accepted a teaching position at Westfield High School, in Houston, Texas. I moved to Houston on Wednesday, 22 September 2010. The Lords hand has been in this situation, since the interview. I have been blessed in numerous ways! I would love to share those blessings, but many I am not comfortable sharing on this medium, due to state laws, etc. Feel free to ask me anything in person.
Blessings I will share in this public forum:
- Great interview
- People reaching out to me in Houston
- People from San Antonio, reaching out to help me
- People that used to live in Houston, reaching out to me
- My brother introduced me to a friend from college, that has been a great friend to me!
- A friend from UTSA's Methodist group, Upgrade, has continued to bless my life with friendship and a place to stay, while I was looking for places to live
- Multiple teachers have reached out to me, and tried to help me in any way possible!
- A great department chair
--Rejoice the Lord is King
Monday, August 30, 2010
Our sermon at First Presbyterian was about Risk Taking: Mission and Service. One of the points made was that mission and service always includes risks. During the prayer of confession, we prayed the following:
My actions chose to quit my job and move overseas. I took multiple risks. I planned on teaching for the year, and then loosely planned on staying and teaching for more than a year or two, and eventually coming stateside, continuing to teach. I also plan on marrying a wonderful man and starting my own family, preferably within the next few years. I have dreams, goals, and desires.
Teach me the mission appointed for me, what is my labor, and where it shall be.
I am paying the consequences of taking risks. I am without employment. I continue to search daily, for where God wants me to labor, and what it shall be. My search is nationwide. I have considered leaving the teaching field. In the sermon, the positive consequences were discussed, but not once were the negative consequences discussed, and how we deal with them, when they arise. Not all risks we take reap positive rewards.
My response you ask? I continue to pray that God will place me where He wants me. In the meantime I pray that I will serve Him with a joyous heart, while I am unemployed. God has given me this time; I want to glorify Christ through my actions today!
Friday, August 20, 2010
- The original rash has gone away! I have replaced that rash with road rash, due to falling off of a bike during a triathlon. At least I know where this road rash came from! :) I owe a huge thank you to Ben, who cleaned my wounds after I finished the tri (Yes, I was able to get back on the bike, blood streaming down, determined, and in utter pain), my brother who cleaned my wounds with dish soap and water and then hydrogen peroxide, and lastly, my mother who then has cleaned my wounds daily, and dressed them with Aquaphor. Thank God for Eucerin, as I am not allergic to it! During this time of injury, I've had insult on the injuries, thanks to allergens. I am so blessed that each of the wounds are healing up quite nicely.
- My ankle is still hurting, and I also hurt the other ankle, a tad bit. I have not run for a week due to the road rash. I will start up with Saturday's long run! I can hardly wait, it's hard not to run!
- Subby is on it's way to the crusher! No more good times with the 1998 Subaru Forester. On the upside, thanks to the deer hitting our car in Idaho, I will soon be driving a Ford Freestyle. I am thankful for a vehicle to drive.
- I am still searching for a job teaching secondary mathematics. And not just any job. A fabulous job with wonderful co-workers and a great administration, like I had at Mac Arthur HS, in NEISD. I know I am an excellent teacher! (I just copied and pasted this from last time!)
- People have generously offered me clothes and bought me new items! Wow! Thank you, thank you!
- My personal faith: Two prayers have been answered. I had been praying for three months that I would find something, and I found both items within a short time period. What a blessing! It was good to know that God has not forgot about me, nor my prayers.
--God be merciful to me
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
"LOOK AT YOUR PROBLEMS IN THE LIGHT OF THE POWER OF GOD
INSTEAD OF LOOKING AT GOD IN THE LIGHT OF YOUR PROBLEMS."
God is in charge, we are not seeing past our problems.
Love you, Mom
- I continue to struggle with both my faith and physical health. In many ways I am the healthiest that I have ever been, and in other ways, I am worn and exhausted, and it is taking a toll on my body. Physically--doctors have no answers, and my body continues to reject itself on different levels. Nine months ago, up until about three months ago, I could not use soap on my body, as it caused me to break out in a painful rash. There was nothing I could place on my skin. This ran it's course and once again, I am able to use soap. Within the past month, I have developed a different rash, that has turned into hives, and is now calming down. I am tired of my body rejecting itself. It is painful--both physically and emotionally.
- I hurt my ankle at Grouse Mtn., therefore I did not run for a week. I have to be careful with it, although that does not keep me from running now. I also managed to hurt my neck while on holiday, but thankfully I have a fabulous chiropractor, and Dr. White fixed me right up.
- I still wish I could afford a new car. The 1998 Subaru Forester has 234,000 miles on it and I had AAA tow it from our house to the automotive store yesterday. Subby is very sick. :(
- I am still searching for a job teaching secondary mathematics. And not just any job. A fabulous job with wonderful co-workers and a great administration, like I had at Mac Arthur HS, in NEISD. I know I am an excellent teacher!
- I would love to be given someones gently used clothes they don't want/wear anymore. I was blessed with some new shirts this summer! Now accepting dresses, skirts, pants, really, anything you would like to get rid of.
- My personal faith--I am struggling in remembering the great things God has done and continues to do. I am having a hard time seeing beyond my own problems and looking to His power.
--Hymn, Fight Thy Good Fight with all Thy Might
I picked up my bible and read. And then the next evening, the sermon was on the text I had just read the night prior. I do not remember what the text was, as I have been reading my bible daily since, and I can only absorb so much.
Why have we decided that when we're hurting, we must be doing something wrong? Trials and tribulations are not always because of our wrong doing. One lady in Sunday school, who had battled many years of cancer, said it so well. She said something to the effect of, I still hurt, I still struggle, I doubt, I fear, the angst is still there, and sometimes I am angry, but I am grounded in the hope that Jesus Christ gives us, and there is nothing that can take that away.
As I was reading in Mark, I found a note in my bible that read, "I am not called to be successful; I am called to be faithful." At the same time, every little girl likes to dress up as a princess and pretend that they are successful, intelligent, beautiful, and loved. I am still a little girl. I still pretend. Maybe I need to change my view of successful.
As I have shared some of my struggles with my Mom and Dad, both of them have individually prayed with me. These are special moments in my life. God is powerful!
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Friday morning, my first conscience thought was, "Thank you, Jesus!" This was all I could say for about 20 minutes. I am not sure what spurred this on, nor am I sure why it was all I could think for so long, but I found myself simply saying over and over, like a broken record, "Thank you, Jesus!"
Loving God and loving people is an action--it is a definitive choice. We are called to teach His Word, talk about His Word, bind His Word, and write His Word down. Loving God is personal (clearly, not private) and it is a commitment to employ oneself in loving service to Godhead--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Paralleling the scripture above:
Ephesians 3:14, 17-19
Looking at these scriptures, as Christians it is clear that love must be the foundation for ALL we do! When you die, what do you want to be known for? I've heard it said, LOVE! I agree, I want to be known for love!
This past week I was blessed to have my roommate from Ukraine, come and spend a week with myself and my family. I am grateful that we were able to share Christs unconditional love with/on Masha! God is so good to my family, and being able to share that love with another person is beautiful.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
|Hope That Does Not Disappoint|
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
2 Corinthians 6:17
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body
1 Corinthians 6:20
1 Corinthians 6:17
Monday, June 28, 2010
I too have nine more fish to go catch. I am ready to give my firstfruits to Yodalis to watch him grow and flourish, as a child of God. I am going to trust that God will continue to provide for me.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Swim--300 meters, I cut my last swim time by 2 minutes and I actually passed one person in the pool.
Run--2 miles, I was amazed at how fast I ran these two miles!
The triathlon was fun and I enjoyed the challenge!
Friday, June 25, 2010
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."
I've read my bible, in fact, I've read these words many times, as well as the scripture following, but last night, in conversation with a friend, I stopped and went, "Whoa!" This is awesome!
"Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones."
"We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, proven character; and proven character hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our heart through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
This past year has brought on trials and tribulations, and I have tried to follow the wisdom brought forth in Proverbs 3:5-6; trust and acknowledge Him. As I reflect on my past year, I know God is faithful! My physical body continues to heal, and day after day I am becoming more whole and refreshed again.
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.
Holy, Holy, Holy
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The Church's One Foundation
Two thoughts come to mind--what beautiful imagery, and I love the unity!
On a different note, Ephesians 2:10 coupled with Isaiah 43:7 gives us our purpose in life--to glorify Godhead! I love how God uses His word both throughout the OT and NT to teach us.
"Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed even whom I have made."
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Before the race I was quite nervous. I was thankful for Kathleen's help, encouragement, and explanations of everything going on, how to handle it, and what to expect. She's an experienced triathlete. She helped me park the bike, put the towel down, take the bike for inspection, register, and everything else a person does in order to prepare.
I do not own a tri-suit, nor am I making an investment, so I felt kind of silly to say the least in my bikini bottom and sports bra, but at least they matched and it worked quite well for my purposes.
I was the very last person to start...number 115, as per my request. I know I am not a strong swimmer, or not anymore at least. Our swim was short, 300 meters, which took me 13 minutes! Swimmers started every 20 seconds. Number 105 went off, and then I had to wait, 20 seconds, 20 seconds, etc. until Number 115 was called. The people in between did not show up. I waited nervously for my number to be called so that I could start. And I started way too fast. After 50 meters, I was worn out. You swim up and down the lane, and then under the lane, and up and down the next lane. This goes on for six laps. The swim was tough for me, and I wasn't sure I wanted to even finish half way through them swim. Thank God for encouraging people all throughout!
When I finished swimming, I looked at my watch and kind of laughed at how bad I was. The next two parts were by far, my fav! I love riding and running, so with flip flops on my feet, I walked across the grass, took off the flip flops, put on my shorts, shirt, socks, and shoes, and helmet, and was ready to ride. The ride was 10 miles. It was relatively easy--I even passed some people! Wahoo!
After riding, I took off my helmet, placed my bike on the rack, and started to run. Wow! That was the hardest run I have ever done! The first 1/4 mile I was trying not to fall over and trip. No wonder people say that bike to run is difficult. I kept a nice clip on my run. I was surprised that I had ran the first mile in the 8's. I was able to pass a few more people on the run. The run was 2 miles, and I finished the entire race in 1:11:10. Surprisingly, I won an award. You can see a picture of the medal below. After the awards ceremony a group picture was taken, this picture will be on next weeks t-shirt. Guess I'm doing another tri!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Race: Carrabba's Half Marathon Race
Distance: 13.1 miles
Goal Time: None
Actual Time: 02:08:27 (9:48 min/mi)
Mile 0: I looked for Emily, one of the girls I normally run and pace with, but did not see her. Oh well. On the other hand, I saw the girls relay group and military mens relay group from my club. I also saw Leroy, another one of the guys I run with. Since this race is chip time, I have no desire to start "on time" therefore, I waited a good 3.5-4 minutes before starting. This allowed people to go crazy fast, and other people to separate and move out of the way, as this race was quite crowded. I was able to run immediately and not start off walking or dodging people.
Loop 1: This was the longest of the four loops and I felt good upon completion. It was nice to be cheered on by John, one of the guys in my running club! In fact, he cheered me on for three of the four loops!
Loop 2: This loop went by relatively quickly and I was surprised in some ways when I had finished it. The longest "half" of the run was over, and I had finished in under an hour. I was pretty happy with my timing.
Loop 3: This was by far a challenging loop for me. I never really like mile 8. Even in training runs, they just don't seem to mesh with me.
Loop 4: Stopped for a restroom break. Wished I was a guy and could go anywhere. Alas, God has blessed me as a woman.
My time is good, considering the heat and humidity here! I am pleased to have finished with that time and tomorrow I will do my first Triathlon.