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Saturday, May 8, 2010

God's faithfulness

Last week in Sunday School, we were talking about the faithfulness of God. One of the key things that stood out to me was that when we are looking at what God does we are on a roller coaster, because the things that are happening to us and around us don't always make sense. But when we focus on who He is, we are on an even keel, so to speak, and the waves crashing around us don't worry us so much.

My husband and I had been discussing our future and we were both feeling rather bleak about it. He desires to be in full-time ministry, which means that it is his job rather than a side thing. There were tears and long conversations about this because we haven't seen God leading us into full time ministry. Yes, we believe that's what He wants of our family, but we didn't see any direction.

So I shared this with my Mom-time prayer group and my Sunday school class. On Monday, out of the blue, we recieved an e-mail from a close friend telling us of a need in Kansas. He and his family are missionaries, but his home church needs a pastor. He was letting us know so that we could pray about applying for the position.

My husband and I both felt the same way that God was leading us in this direction. After a night of thinking about it, we both saw all the ways God was using us here and how much we had to do if we were called to this ministry. It was an eye-opener for us because we realized that God was using us even though it didn't look like it to us.

Whether or not we move to Kansas, is still up in the air. But God is showing us that the process is very valuable, maybe even more than the destination. We get so caught up in figuring out what our future is, that we forget that the "getting there" is also a valuable time of learning.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Girls' room

Today, I'm home for the weekend. I'm quite tired and really don't feel like dealing with the issues that must be dealt with at home. But I know that once I get started I'll be glad I did. Maybe starting with a shower would help. It was somewhat of a long week at work and I'm not really ready for more work.

Later: I got inspired to do some work - not really housecleaning, though it will help. I've been wanting to paint the girls' room, since I bought the wrong color of paint for the downstairs bathroom. It's not a good color for that room, but a great color for a girl's room. So I cleaned everything out of their closet and started painting it. Then Jeff is planning on putting shelves in for organization, and I'd like to figure out something for shoes. I know they have those shoe things to go under the bed, but I'm hoping to keep from spending money. I also need to screw in their curtain rod and maybe put the blinds back up.

Even later: So I painted the closet once and while I was doing that, the boys got into the sugar and spread it all over the kitchen and were cutting bread with scissors. So I finished the closet while they were napping. Actually finished painting it once. The trim still needs to be done.

My goal for myself these days is to love my children. There's too much impatience with their naughtiness and I don't believe that is right. Naughtiness and disobedience are unacceptable but when I'm mad because they are disobedient, then I am wrong and not displaying the fruit of the Spirit. Consistency tempered with love is what my kids need. Compassion is missing in my life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quiet time

It's somewhat quiet in my house right now, since the little ones are laying down. It would be a great time to get the dishes done and the laundry finished, but I haven't had my devotions yet. Devotions for me have to be at naptime, because I'm usually at work when I get up in the morning.

I'm studying the Sunday School lesson, Beth Moore's "Living Beyond Yourself". It's about the fruit of the Spirit. I'm behind so I'm on Day 4 of the Kindness and Goodness fruit. Ephesians 2:1-10 - We were dead and yet He (God) still chose to make us alive. Amazing! Grace beyond comprehension! We were created and made alive to do good works. And Ephesians 1:5 says it was His pleasure to do so.

2 Timothy 1:14 - Guard the trust that has been entrusted to you with the help of the Holy Spirit.

I enjoyed studying this in Sunday School last week and thinking about the fact that kindness and goodness go together and the goodness part of it has to do with even things like rebuke and correcting a brother. The thing is that it goes with kindness hand-in-hand and needs to be tempered with love. It's one thing to rebuke a brother because you want them to know they are wrong and another completely to do it with kindness because you love them. If the main goal is pointing out faults we haven't tempered our 'goodness' with kindness and then it isn't even goodness at all anymore. But when we seek to build another up and that requires some confrontation, if our main goal is building up a brother, I think then, we are seeing kindness and goodness meshed in a proper way. We aren't doing our brother/sister any favors if we leave things that we see for them to discover on their own. It reminded me about how I feel when someone tells me that I have something in my teeth. Usually I'm embarassed at the thought of walking around for who knows how long with this thing stuck in my teeth. But I'm thankful as well that someone (usually my husband) was brave enough to 'confront' me about this. It takes me a bit longer to get to the thankful part when it's my husband rather than when a friend does it. I'm thankful because now I won't go off talking to more people and embarassing myself further. How many people had I already talked to, who didn't feel like they could say, "Hey, you've got something between your front teeth. "

Monday, April 12, 2010

Things I'm learning

I had a very full weekend this weekend. The best part was that I was able to get almost everything done (my brick walk outside still needs more sand before I can lay the rest of the bricks). But also I learned so much from the studies we had in God's word. I was very excited about that.

Youth group: First, my husband led the youth in a devotional that I loved. It meant a lot to me. He read from 2 Timothy 2. Toward the end Paul tells Timothy that we have a choice about what kind of a vessel we will be. He says that there are vessels of gold, silver, wood or clay. The gold and silver are vessels of honor and the wood and clay are of dishonor. Paul tells Timothy that by choosing to put away striving about words and idle babblings and not straying from the truth we can be vessels of honor. It's a choice that we are given. My favorite part of those verses was that we could be vessels of honor if we put away those things from our lives, "sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. I want to be a vessel useful for the Master.

Sunday School: Our Beth Moore study "Living Beyond Yourself" was very good. It was about patience. God brings irritating people into our lives to help rub off the rough spots in our lives. So when I'm irritated with my children, I can praise Him for the work He is doing in my life. Also it seems from 2 Corinthians 4:10-12 that God can be working death in my life ( that is rubbing off the rough spots) and life in someone else (i.e. a new believer). That was exciting to me, because it's worth it. I will gladly go through the fire, to draw off impurities from my life and to bring life to another.

Church: Hebrews 2:17-18 - Surely I've seen this before, but it's amazing how something can be so new. Actually, it shouldn't be a surprise to us, because God's Word is alive - amazing, yes - a surprise, no. Jesus had to be made like us. Why? (so that) He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest. How? (because) He suffered and is able to aid those who are tempted. It was very exciting to me to see this clearly marked out in Scripture. For some reason it just touched me yesterday.

When we seek Him first, His Word comes alive to us and that is what I've been experiencing this weekend.