Monday, September 24, 2012

Share your story!

We are called, as Christians, to share.

My Pastor this Sunday at church preached about sharing the Gospel.  He taught that if we've been Christians longer than even an hour we should be re-telling our story.  How many of us actually share?

I grew up Lutheran, have been close several times to converting to Catholocism, have spent time in the Methodist Church, and am most recently attending a Southern Baptist church.  I love the Lord, I have a relationship with Jesus, I fully rely on God, and I heavily depend on the Holy Spirit's guidance.  I have experienced Christ and grown in relationship with Him at each Church, and I can't pick out one that is better than the others.  I know the Truth. I've witnessed people turning to Christ, and the impact that has on their lives.  It's a beautiful thing.

Every church and congregation I've been in has urged this sharing.  One thing I know is that we are all on the same team, and I know that sometimes sharing means just living by example.  If you are going to talk the talk- then, for sure, you need to be walking the walk, because, we all know what it's like to witness hypocrisy, and I don't know one human who likes it.  I think Ghandi rejected Christianity because he didn't like that Christians didn't live by their faith.  He insisted that he loved Christ, but not Christians (that being said, accepting Christ as your savior, and developing a relationship with Christ are what make one a Christian, and being admonished to live like Him is what Christians should strive for).  Respecting and admiring Christ does not make you a Christian any more than saying you are a Christian and then refusing to try to live as one (in my very humble opinion).

I know, for me, I try to walk the walk... and I fail, often, but then I try again, and again, and again... because of the perfect love of Christ, I don't have to be perfect... and because of Him, I get a second chance... and because of that, more people get to hear (or read about) my story... and that is how I share........


Friday, September 14, 2012

life life as an offering

Well, the first two weeks back in school, I think, are a success!  The transition has been pretty smooth, and the kids seem to like their teachers.  I think it's good.  And calm.  So far, so good!

I think it's important to totally focus on the positive things... Too much around here (here being planet Earth) is so negative.  It's so easy to be swept up in the doom and gloom (imagine the Imperial March music that accompanies Darth Vader, here).  War, poverty, elections.  Nothing seems good anymore, or even safe or desirable.

 I am (admitting to being)  sad about so many things right now... and truly, it makes me question:                                                                         

And... I don't really get a clear answer, but I do get a few vague ones...

We need to totally rely on Christ.  For some of us, apparently, that means being in a place with no other options, which probably equals desperation.  It isn't pretty to be in these places.  Sometimes, though, that's what it takes.

We need to give it up for Christ.  Let go.  Believe.  Release control.  Control is just an allusion, anyway.  How we react to situations is probably going to show our character and our faith more than just the words and sentences we use to describe our faith (and our character, for that matter).

Work for Christ.  He used people, ordinary and flawed people to spread His ministry, His church, and His message.  Two thousand years ago, people were not just sitting around using phones and TV news to spread the news that Christ had risen... There wasn't Google, or Facebook to check the status or get information about the Resurrection...  People had to walk, and travel, and preach, and communicate and talk about what had happened! 

I know because of my relationship with my Lord and Savior I am able to bear a lot of things.  I can not do anything on my own.... -- are you kidding, me? -- Really, I have three kids, two with special needs, and a husband that works (so hard for us, and thank you, Mark, because without you I know this would be even way more difficult...)  and many days it really is just me here wrangling, I mean raising my children and trying to be a good example, and to not lose my cool, and I'm trying to find a new job (one that generates income, not consumes it)...  get the picture? Through the perspective of eternity... I know it's all going to be OK, even when it doesn't feel OK.

No where does it say faith in God and accepting Jesus as your savior makes life easy, and that bad things can't happen to you or your loved ones.  The promise, though, of redemption and the hope of a greater future and purpose are yours to experience.  Everything (everything: laundry, mopping, working, toiling...) takes on a new meaning when you're able to offer it to further God's kingdom. My life and work are a mission... an offering...

My heart is broken for our country right now... prayers for the families of the victims in the embassy raids, prayers for the soldiers and their families as the violence and fighting continues... Prayers for our President... because I am so not happy with him right now, so I'll just pray for him.  Really, that's all I'll say about it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It's September

Happy September!:)

Because we just love (sarcasm noted here in case you can't hear it through your computer screen) changes around here, the big decision to not home-school has prompted a crazy week of back to school nights, last minute shopping, and trying to practice getting to bed at an earlier hour (which never works, by the way).

up allllll night- 

Even though it's a little (yes, sarcasm again) hectic, I marvel at God's timing.  It was last minute, so I didn't agonize over any decisions for very long.  It happened quickly, so the children didn't have to agonize over anything that long.  It happened because of an opportunity which opened up the chance to see how far my marriage relationship has matured because my husband and I had to communicate... calmly... (which did work, by the way).

I just think it's amazing that He always comes through for those of us that love and seek Him...Even if there are bumps and surprises, even if some of those bumps and surprises are tragic; on the other side of things, we can take comfort in He who provides everything (including situations) for our good.  And this is where I get to quote my favorite Bible verse: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and to not harm you..." --Jeremiah 29: 10-12 (I know I quote this a lot... but it is so important, and so good, and so hopeful!!!)

I pray for us, for those of us coping with loss (so many losses this week in my direct circle of friends, two families are suffering the terrible loss of a child, many pets are sick, or have passed on, I have many friends dealing with loss of expectations for jobs and children, a new diagnosis, the loss of those nice years prior to teenager angst and defiance, children in college, aging parents coming home to live... I pray for us all)...

I pray for new beginnings, for those traveling, and, of course, for our marriages and families:)