Friday, February 6, 2009

Are you a flower or....

This weeks Bible study is going to be dealing with a critical spirit. Check out this definition on criticism:
to dwell on the perceived faults of another person with no aim to their good

Notice the bold letters. How many times do we criticize someone or what they do? As if they should be perfect. As if we don't have our own faults. As if we have no intention of really helping a situation, but rather just vent. This week, I've really tried to think about the "faults" of others around me as an opportunity to just be a blessing instead to them, especially if they don't even know it. Like my kids for instance...sometimes they don't mean to be messy or leave things around...they're just kids....or my husband who might leave clothes around, but who does so because he's willing to change into grubby clothes and stay up til 1:30 am working on our house...Are you getting what I'm saying?! Yes, there are some legitimate areas we all need to work on, BUT first, it's not our job to judge them especially if we cannot help them, and second we need to let God deal with them and take care of ourselves!!! Novel idea, huh?

Another thing the author said this week that really made me's something so simple, yet so often forgotten by myself when dealing with issues around me. Ya ready, here it is:

People were made to be loving and kind!

Duh, right?...but how often do I think my job is to "make" everyone right. I have to admit when I'm in a sticky situation, I often do not think to myself "my job is to be loving and kind". Of course, I want to be that always, but when we are critical, we are NOT being loving and kind. Add to this Oswald Chambers quote, "Whenever you are in a critical temper, it is impossible to enter into communion with God."
Instead of being critical, I pray my responses will be changed to being loving and kind...with Christ this too is possible!

Last, here's a little story(wish I wrote it, but I didn't)...relating to the title of my post:

A little seed lay on the ground and soon began to sprout.
"Now which of all the flowers around," it thought,"shall I come out?
The lily's face is fair and proud, but it is a trifle cold.
The rose I think is rather loud, but it very soon grows old.
The violet is very well, but not a flower I would choose.
Nor the Canterbury bell, I've never cared for blues."
And so it criticized each flower this sour judgemental seed,
until it woke one summer morn and found itself a weed.

Lord, make into the flower of your choice!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

these are few of my favorite things...starting with L

I agreed to play along, so...ten things I enjoy that start with the letter L:

1. Lori - sorry to all my other friends whose names don't start with L
I always enjoy time with you!

2. Leslie - I couldn't forget you either!

3. Lynsey - my sister in law. She's great!

4. Licorice - black or red, and I love the licorice mix at Winco's bulk section

5. my lapdog - ok, you knew I'd find a way to throw my Zoeydog into this :)

6. leisure time - looking forward to that in Hawaii in a couple of months

7. lipgloss - don't go anywhere without this

8. lunch with my daughter when she gets out of school early

9. laughing - who doesn't enjoy this?! And it's good for you!

10. learning more about God through Bible study

Whew! That was a lot harder than I thought...maybe it was just the letter...After Jamie's Sesame Street picture all I could think of was Bert's song about the letter you remember?
la la la la lemon, light bulbs, linoleum....actually that makes one more thing I enjoy...lemon meringue pie! Yumm-o!

Monday, January 26, 2009

update on attitude...mine that is

Just thought I'd let you know how I'm doin'. If you haven't yet, see my previous post. Honestly, I've had to confess coveting at least a few times. With my hubby gone on a business trip, it doesn't make it easier either - read: golfing, dining - fine dining I'm sure, even a trip to the outlet mall, and oh yeah, going to David Jeremiah's church, where Tim LaHaye happened to be also. I'm sure you get the point. I'm really not trying to complain, just giving you the facts. If I was complaining I'd mention too that while my hubby's on this rough trip, I've been home with sick kids, eating leftovers and whatever I could find in the freezer, not so fine dining...BUT, just pretend I didn't mention all this ;).

Really, I've been learning a lot, mostly that I've still got a lot to learn and I'm thankful that God is still willing to teach me and bare with me in the process. Regardless, there is always much more to be thankful for than I could ever covet. I'll keep you updated....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's all about attitude!

I am in a new Bible study on Thursday mornings at church. It is called, "Lord, change my attitude." And it is a wonderful study; I highly recommend it whether you think you need it or not. I just thought I'd share some of what I've learned and pass it on to you.

The first week was focused on complaining and the scripture was in Numbers 11 and 14. I am sure you're familiar with this passage where the Israelites are led out of Egypt, to freedom, but as soon as they are, they start complaining, grumbling, whining and moaning about their awful circumstances. Of course, God hated to hear these complaints. It is like a slap in His face! It made me think how often I've complained, and truly I am sorry for all of them. To know how God hates this ingratitude is really humbling.

The second week was about turning our complaints into thankfulness. Think for a minute about something you have or could complain about. Now, find something in it to be thankful for. Even our worst things, when we really think about it can be used as an opportunity to give thanks. I hear all kinds of complaints all the time from lots of people, some from myself. So and so's not happy about a relationship, someone else has no money, another might just complain about the weather...regardless of the situation, we really should be thankful. Thankful to have that someone in our life...thankful that God meets our needs...thankful that even though the weather is cold, we at least have a new day to live. I was also reminded that even if Jesus never gave me anything but himself and salvation, that would be enough. How many times, though, do we not look at things this way? It has really helped me to see things differently. I may not have my complaining problem licked, but now I recognize it and hopefully, will stop and turn it into thanks instead. I encourage you to do the same!

This week, the third week, was on covetousness. Ouch! As I listened this morning, I realized again how many times in the past (or present) I have had that kind of attitude. Once again, God hates it and it is called sin! For the Israelites, God provided everything they needed - manna from heaven. Were they grateful? No!!! They wanted meat! So much so that they whined until they got it. Well, God answered them in Numbers 11:19-20 and told them they would have so much meat that they would become sick of it. Each household collected 50-60 bushels full of quail each! That is a lot of meat!!! Plus, they would be eating meat for a whole month. As much as I love a good burger, I don't think I would want to eat 50-60 bushels of hamburgers for a whole month :). When we covet, we are essentially saying to God " what you've given me isn't good enough. You need to do better". I am sure this greatly grieves our Father, our Creator and Provider. And coveting is deeply connected to materialism. In a poll, 80% of Americans are said to want more money. And for what??? A better, easier, more fun-filled life! We are so selfish. This is something I really need to think about, because I don't want to displease my Heavenly Father. I don't want to covet that which I don't have. I don't want to turn from all I've been blessed with, from all God's given to me, and focus on what I still don't have. Lots to learn! Needless to say, I can't wait for next week's lesson on contentment!

Some questions to ponder:

Do I think more about impacting people with Christ or getting "things"?
Do I think more about stuff that will gratify me or actions that will bless others?

Please only answer these in your heart, between you and God. But, there is always hope in the Lord. If we answer these in ways that are not pleasing to Him, we can always repent and start anew.

Since I am in this class for 11 weeks, and will probably need practice applying all that I learn for a long time, I've decided that "having a Godly Attitude" will be my theme for the year!
Thanks for "listening" to what I've been learning...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A little insight, please?

Hello ladies! I've been reading in Genesis this week and have come upon many things that I need clarification or insight on, so I thought I'd ask you. I love God, know He works all things out for the good of those that love Him, but, honestly, I don't often times understand His mystery there...none of us really can since His ways are higher than ours. But, I really do want to know as much as I can. So, when I don't get something in scripture it does bother me. If given the choice between knowing how something works and why it works, I'd want to know why. That's just the way I am. I like to understand things, and could care less how as long as I know what I need to know and why, then I'm good.

Okay, so today I read in Genesis 21 and verses 8-14 are where my questions reside. Sarah didn't like Hagar and Ishmael ( I understand all that- bad decision from the get go), but what I don't understand is why God went ahead and told Abraham to send off his son and Hagar? I am sure that greatly upset Abraham, as scripture says. It seems to me that they got into this mess and dealing with a stepson of sorts is just one consequence for Sarah to deal with. She really had a lot of influence here, doesn't she? I mean, she gave Hagar to Abraham and now Ishmael's making fun of Isaac, so she wants to get rid of him, and SHE DOES! She gets her way! Please check this scripture out for me. Again, I just want to know why? Can any of you shed some spiritual light into this for me? Maybe you have more biblical understanding on this than me!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Time for Change

Good morning and Happy New Year! I've been encouraged/harassed about my lack of blog content, SO once again, I will rise to the challenge. I guess I need lots and lots of motivation :).

Well, as I've seen in other blogs, I too have been thinking of the new year and what that means for me. I know this is going to be a big year of change for our country, but what I'm really, really concerned about is change I need in my life. Right now there are some mountains I see in my life that really need to be moved, but I am at a loss as to how to move them. Obviously, I need the Lord's help here! So, I am going to rest in Him to give me the answers in His time and His way. Interestingly, I challenged my middle school S.S. girls to memorize our week's verse, so here it is Thursday, and I thought I really should also learn it. Remember my plans to memorize a verse a week? Well, that only lasted about 5 weeks, so this verse will be my first for the new year:

1 Peter 5: 6,7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift up in due time. Cast all your care/anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Wow, that's ironic, isn't it? The very thing I need - to humble myself and cast my cares on Him - is staring me right in the face! Thank you Jesus! With you (Jesus) I know these mountains can be moved.

Thank you all for being my friend. I know we will have many opportunities to continue to make many memories this new year! I look so forward to it!!!

On a side note, my sister in law told me of this website she's using to read the Bible through in one year, and I've joined her in this, so I thought I'd share it with you too. Check it out at

Friday, December 19, 2008