Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Rinky's Treasures (This is an amazing testimony of why it is so important to write our sponsored kids. It doesn't take long--the time to write an email on the Compassion website, but it obviously makes a tremendous difference. Humbling how big a difference a small effort can make.)
God's Shameless Love for the Poor
Dreamers Dream if They Know They Can Dream
Weeping, Praying, Thanking God for the work of Compassion.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act.”
Have you ever observed someone whose actions did not measure up to what they professed to believe? Maybe they talked about wanting to live debt free yet repeatedly used their credit card. Or they lamented the need to get into shape, but never made an effort to get any exercise. Did they say they wanted to be a part of someone's life, yet they ignored invitations to get together?
If you met this kind of person, did you continue to believe them when they spoke of things they wanted to be or have? Or, did you begin to assume that what they said was not really that important to them at all? I'd be willing to guess that it was the latter.
This same principle holds true in my walk with God. I can say I want a relationship, but if I never make any effort to show up at his, oh, million invitations a day, then do I really want it? If I never sit down and read His word, do I truly love His truth? If I never allow Him to take my breath away with a sunrise or sunset, do I admire His creativity? If I never grace the doorway of a church, do I care about His family? Words are easy to say, but our actions betray what we really think and feel.
My pastor often repeats "If what you believe does not affect how you act, you don't really believe it."
What are your actions betraying today?
"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him." Matthew 12:33-35
Father God, please take the intentions that I speak and grow them into passions that I feel and actions that I take. Forgive me when I say one thing and then act differently. Continue to draw into alignment my declarations and actions. Allow me to show your consistency when others look into my life that they may know You are guiding my thoughts, feelings and actions. Amen.
Debbie is our hostess this week! Please visit her blog to find other reflections on this quote.
My jet-lagged brain is finding it difficult to finish my IOW post. I'll get it posted later today. But in the meantime, this week several amazing bloggers are traveling in India with Compassion. Compassion is an organziation I cannot say enough good about. And these brave bloggers are actually living out what they think and feel about Jesus' call to serve the poor. Go and visit their blogs. You will not be disappointed.
Her Name is Lakshmi
Sometimes I'm Miserable, Pitiful, Poor and Blind
Pride and Prejudice
Speechless for the First Time EVER but Compelled to Type
The Flickr Photos of the Trip are here
Why are you still here? Go. Be Blessed!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
“Give yourself permission not to know and be satisfied knowing the One who does.”
by Joyce Meyer, “I Dare You"
Why did God choose to make grass green instead of blue?
I don't know, maybe green is his favourite colour.
Then does he like grass more than sky?
I don't know, but I don't really think he loves any part of his creation more than the rest.
Why do I have to wait until I grow up to know everything?
Baby, you will never know everything.
Then why do I want to know everything?
I don't know, maybe because God created us with lots of curiosity.
If you are a parent, you probably encounter a few dozen/hundred/thousand questions a day that you aren't quite sure of the answer (if you are a homeschooling parent this may be even more!). I have learned that it is perfectly okay to not know the answer. Somethings we may spend some time trying to find the answer (how long will it take for the peahen's eggs to hatch--28 to 30 days) while others I leave it with "that is how God made it." At six and four, my girls are pretty willing to accept that. Not always, but usually.
Not knowing the answers is part of being a child. There are some things that they are simply not ready to understand. I get that. So, not knowing the answers is not something I have really struggled against in my spiritual walk. I am okay not knowing the answers because I know who does.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
There are times I pray persistently, "Lord, I know you have the answers, can you show me a glimpse of what is to come?" But mostly I'm content to wait.
That contentment has come over the years. The more I have experienced the blessing of his timing in my life, the easier it becomes to trust him with the next point of timing. In the relationship I am able to trust when he does not explain himself explicitely. Because I know, implicitely, that he cares for me and has my best in mind.
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.
Father, help me to live in the contentment of knowing that you hold all the answers. Flood me with a sense of your peace when I begin to try to control the timing of things in my life. May I reflect in my actions my trust in your character. Amen.
Nina at Mama's Little Treasures is the hostess for IOW this week. Please join us there and be blessed!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
God’s promises are never affected by our failures. He can use us at any age.
~Michael Youssef from Leading the Way~
I don't know this book. Actually I only know a little about the author that I have scraped off the internet. But knowing the book might help me put some context around these two sentences, which actually seem a little disjointed together. I can easily write about "God not affected by my failures" and I can write about "God using us at any age" but how do the two fit together?
But it does remind me of the Apostle Paul teaching Timothy. He says to Timothy,
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
1 Timothy 4:12-13
Paul reminds Timothy that it is not his age that could disqualify him, it is his actions. And if he is devoting himself to right actions, then he remains qualified.
I remember way back when I was preparing to go to seminary. A church endorsement was needed for the application, and the fact that I was a woman was making that rather tricky. Finally I met with the leadership to attain their "approval." The pastor, a highly respected and gifted leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, eventually asked the question on everyone's mind: "Little lady, what exactly do you think you can do for God?" I took a measured breath and asked something about what any of us could do for God and the question was then finished "....since you are female?" Another measured breath and God gave me the answer. I said, "I'm not really sure. All I know is that God created me female and placed me in a Southern Baptist home and now He is drawing me to seminary. I don't know what I can do for Him, but I believe He is big enough to figure out those details." A few seconds of silence incurred and then an unanimous vote to endorse me was given. My gender could have been the stumbling block, but God was so much bigger than that!
Yet in every ministry position I took, I always felt that there was someone watching to see where I messed up. They were waiting to relate my failures to my gender and thus discredit any woman working in any ministry. Likewise, I believe Timothy must have felt that way--that people were just waiting for him to fail so they could say "see he's too young." But the truth is, we all fail. We are human and we are sinners and we all make mistakes, sometimes we even make huge mistakes. But it is not because of our age or our gender or ethnicity or our cultural upbringing or any of the other things that others may want to pin it on. It is because we are what we are---sinners saved by grace.
We should never be afraid to step out and do the things that God is calling us to do. It is true, we may fall flat on our face at times but his grace is sufficient to cover those times. And he is faithful to complete what he starts, irregardless of how many times we fail in the process. That's what grace is!
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
~2 Timothy 1:8-10~
Today's hostess is Karen at In Love W.I.T.H. Jesus. Please join us as we gather at her place today. You will be blessed.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
My deepest apologies about last week's Stitching Post. No excuses, I simply forgot to post it. *sigh*
Here are my finishes for this week (okay, the last 2 weeks):
A homestead for a friends Neighbourhood Round Robin combining elements of 4 designers.
A quilt for a friend's new baby girl. You can't really tell but the quilting is random squiggles to look like the bee flying.
Thanks for stopping by. Please add your link to your latest stitching progress!
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Jewel lost her first two teeth a couple of weeks ago. Luckily the tooth fairy pillow had been finished the night before! She has two more that are wobbly. She is so funny with wanting them to all come out at once (although she was disappointed that her corn on the cob had to be cut off the cob last night due to not being able to bite into it, lol!)
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
“Heaven must be in me,
before I can be in heaven. ”
by Charles Stanford
What does it mean to have heaven in me? I believe that it means that we must see the world through the eyes of heaven. We should be so focused on where we are going that people can see the peace that comes with that. It is living our life as a journey to the Father.
That does not mean that we become so "heavenly minded that we are no earthly good." Absolutely not. Jesus as he walked this earth never lost sight of where he was going, but he also did not ignore the needs around him. In fact, it was in knowing where he was going that he could put perspective on the needs around him.
We are living in a day and age where needs are great. Emotional needs, physical needs, security needs, financial needs all pull at us. It would be easy to become discouraged and say that there is no use. It would be easy to think that any effort on our part is such a small drop in a big bucket that it is really not needed. When we are focusing on earth and not heaven, the problems seem insurmountable. But when our focus is on heaven, we are able to see God at work and that he is truly greater than anything that can befall us here. Perspective. Keeping heaven in us allows us to keep perspective.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Father God, help me today to keep a heavenly perspective. Help me to see the hurting people around me through your eyes. And if it is your plan, allow me to be a part of easing their pain and allowing them to catch a glimpse of you. Amen.
Denise is the hostess today for In Other Words. Please join us at Shortybear's Place for more perspectives on today's quote. Have a blessed day!
Monday, April 06, 2009
Want this button?
We spent the weekend in London with old friends. It had been ten months since we last saw them at a party, but more than that since we had any quality time together just the two families. So this was very much a renewing the friendship type weekend. We had a wonderful time. We ate together, laughed together, learned a little at the science museum together, worshiped together, and even shed a few tears together as we parted. It was good, really good.
As good as it was, all of us would admit that there were some thoughts of concern before we got together. Would the friendship still be easy? Would we still have things to talk about? How would the girls react since they hardly know them? Although we really wanted to see each other we had to wonder if it would be the same.
(for the record, it was)
That is something we never have to worry about when our friend is our spouse. Where the ebb and flow of life can pull other friendships apart, it only serves to strengthen the friendship in a Christian marriage. Those life experiences become more of the bedrock upon which the friendship is borne.
We've seen that the past few months. With the pressures of economy, work, kids, home life and the like it would be easy to pull apart. Friends we would normally see fairly often, we see infrequently as they are also in the midst of pressures of life. Those friendships will remain, but be a little more distant because of the demands of life. But the marriage friendship? It gets stronger and stronger as we share life together and as we seek God's hand in the decisions. We find more time to really appreciate just being together, just getting in the car and driving together, and just praying together and for each other. The foundation grows.
Friday night we wandered through London together. We didn't say much, we just walked together enjoying a beautiful evening in a bustling city. When we got back to the hotel German commented that it had been a perfect evening. We didn't need to talk. We didn't need to think about anything important. We just needed to be together. As he put the girls to bed, Jewel prayed and said "thank you God that we could have fun together tonight in London."
My girls saw it--just have fun being together.
That quiet togetherness is the essence of Friendship of Christian Marriage, at least it is for us.
Want to read more about friendship in Christian Marriage? Join us at Chrysalis' place for more reflections.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Revisiting March goals
1. Finish NRR thatched house section, road and begin Texas windmill--still finishing thatched house backstitching, not started TX windmill
2. Finish Mystery Quilt II by March 15 (absolute deadline is 29th!)--done March 13
3. Stitch house on Robin's NRR--complete March 30
4. Complete Kristin's All About Me RR if it arrives this month--did not arrive
5. Complete baby quilt for Emily Jane--80% complete
6. Finish office clean up and organising--uh...no
7. Prepare for Easter trip to States--preorder any items that need to be delivered to Dad's--done
8. Sign up at leisure club and take girls swimming at least one time a week outside of their normal lessons--done
9. Begin new Bible Study (No Other Gods) and continue to write mentoring material as able--yes
1. Finish Emily Jane's quilt
2. Finish office organization
3. Work on Bent Creek Season Rows--Spring and Summer
4. Complete Kristin's All About Me RR if arrives
April is mainly a family month, so not as much goal setting as life living to be done!
photo credit: digiology found at morguefile.com