Thursday, April 30, 2009

Range Fire part 2

I went to Kansas City again this last weekend. It was two weeks to the day from this picture.
Look at how pretty and green everything is now. Cows eating the grass on land that two weeks ago was burning. Amazing how quick it rejuvenated itself. I can’t say that this time frame works on everything, but I was moved by how quickly the land was flourishing and providing nutrition to the animals that needed it for grazing. God is good.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We can dance

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine
I say, we can go where we want to
A place where they will never find
And we can act like we come from out of this world
Leave the real one far behind
And we can danceDance!
Is it safe to dance, oh is it safe to dance

This is one of Whitney’s favorite songs. It is set as a ring tone on my phone, and she calls just to listen to it. If it comes on one of the radio stations I listen to, she turns the volume up high. She loves this song. Lyrically, it’s just fun. It’s a one hit wonder from the 80’s by Men Without Hats. There are several more verses, but I will spare you. Thank me later.
I was raised in a fundamental Bible church, school (and home). Dancing was just having sex with your clothes on standing up. It’s one in a long list of activities that were considered sin although I have never found scripture to back this up, in fact, I find several places that God’s chosen people the Israelites, did dance, before God, to God, etc. I believe some forms of dancing are wrong. If people are stuffing money in your underwear while you are dancing it’s not good. If people can see your underwear while you are dancing, it’s not good. (Heck, if people can see your underwear at all it’s not good). Slow dancing with someone other than your spouse is most likely not good. But if you are dancing to The Safety Dance, most likely you aren’t stripping or slow dancing, so you should be “safe”.
I was thinking the other day about all the activities my kids are allowed to be involved in that I never was. My kids are athletes. My kids are musicians. I only played sports for the Christian school teams. They were all scheduled around church activities. We weren’t very good, but it was fun. My daughters have all been involved in music and drama. (They are really good at drama). Little Shop of Horrors, Annie, Fiddler on the Roof (twice), etc., and all kinds of music programs, vocal and instrumental. Two of them own guitars. The schools do a wide range of music, much of it secular. Secular music was another thing that was of the devil when I was a teen. I also didn’t wear pants; show my clavicle, shoulders or knees and I wore a 14 pound cheerleading skirt. NOT KIDDING. Doing the splits was considered inappropriate behavior, punishable behavior. We didn’t play cards, the Joker (or Jack, can’t remember) represented Satan.
I'm the one in the middle on the bottom
I really get a laugh out of this now. I realize as an adult that these atrocities committed against us impressionable kids were done with good intentions. It was not meant to feel like an internment camp.
I just wanted to share one of the most humiliating stories of middle school. At the time it was humiliating, but now when I look back at it, it’s not such a bad memory. Every year we had a soul-winning evangelist, Carl Hatch come to the church and speak for a week. He screamed, he yelled, he slapped the pulpit till his hands had to hurt. He was dripping wet with sweat while he preached. It was an aerobic activity, a long one. And during that week we went out and tried to scare people out of hell. Literally asked the question, “if you died tonight, would you go to heaven or hell?” Not a bad question, really. In our Christian school, if you were on target with your work during this week, you spent afternoons out soul winning. I believe there were kids that purposely were not on target that week so they didn’t have to go.
Circa 1981, 8th Grade
One particular year, I was in the 8th grade, they took us to West High School here in Wichita at 3:00 when school was getting out and dropped us off in the parking lot to witness to students. Here I am, a 14 year old girl with a dress and panty hose on, carrying a Bible, approaching strange teenagers in the high school parking lot asking them about their eternity. I couldn’t tell you how many people looked at me like I was a freak, and actually called me that, but some did. I can tell you how many students prayed with me that day to accept Christ. FOUR!!! I don’t know why this particular memory sticks in my mind so vividly, but it has never left me. I don’t remember their names, or what they looked like, I don’t know if they were popular or unpopular. I also don’t know if they really made the decision or not, but I will tell you, it took more guts for them to stand and talk to me (the freak) and bow their head and pray then it took for me to talk to them. We read them Scripture from the Bible, and I believe the Word of God changes lives, so I hope they really knew what they were praying and believed.
I want to end with this thought. My kids are living breathing testimonies in their schools. Good or bad, right or wrong, they have the chance everyday to reach kids I had to be driven across town and dropped off in a parking lot. They have a chance to get to know them, and develop relationships. Are they doing everything they can? I don’t know. I do know that on Whitney’s little volleyball team, four of the mothers are believers. On Nate’s baseball team I haven’t gotten to know everyone, but several of them are believers as well. I even had one witness to me once. I know there are opportunities I have missed. I wish I could have them back. There are times I talk and get nowhere. I believe we are called to live Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

Monday, April 27, 2009

I have learned...

1. Bologna sandwiches are not good pre-workout food. 
2. Crying at Sonic will freak the carhop out to point that she will offer to pay for your drink, just to get away from the crazy lady.  (They were happy tears).
3. That if “God is not the author of confusion” (KJV) or “God is not a God of disorder, but of peace”, (NIV) I Corinthians 14 where did teenagers come from?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Know your numbers (or have some cheesecake)

Yesterday I particpated in an activity that my employer, Spirit Aerosystems provides its employees.  It’s a great free benefit.  They have a “Know Your Numbers” campaign and bring health care professionals to the facility to check blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, weight, etc.  They actually take blood, blood pressure and weigh you.  Last year my numbers were all in the safe range, but right at the edge. She said it was because I hadn’t been fasting.  This year, my numbers were all great, and I had eaten a bagel with cream cheese and a diet coke for breakfast.  The health care professional told me I was one of the healthiest people she had seen during her month doing these checks on-site, (and then she asked me for exercise advice).  I have to say here, I am not an expert.  I know what works for me.  I have learned by trial and error what I have to do to lose weight and be healthy.My fitness plan consists of counting calories.  This means calories in as well as calories out.  Try me, I know how many calories are in 3 Oreos and how long I have to do just about any exercise to burn them off.  (I have to admit, while I’m writing this, I am eating an 800 calorie piece of cheesecake, which will require a 10 mile bike ride or 6 mile run tonight to work off. I will also have salad for every meal today. OR I JUST GO OVER MY CALORIES TODAY!  That’s right, sometimes I cheat).  I don’t get real crazy about fat, protein and carbs (as you can see by the Oreos and cheesecake).  I also don’t count vegetable calories.  I do count cheese, salad dressing, butter, etc. that might be put on the vegetables.  When I started my fitness plan (diet) 3 years ago, I was unhealthy.  But I have never been so big or so unhealthy to qualify for any surgery or medical treatments for obesity. This is a good thing, and I know that, but sometimes I think it might have been easier.  I know it would have been quicker.  I’m not against gastric bypass or the lap band.  I’m also not against diet pills or diet plans.  I’m not against having prepackaged meals delivered to your door.  Whatever works, as long as it helps your health and doesn’t hurt it.  I know for me, the only thing that works is exercise and moderation in eating.  I haven’t given up anything permanently.  I limit.  I limit sweets.  I limit pizza.  I limit eating out.  But I have all these things.  I occasionally will take pills for different ailments, but other than ibuprofen, allergy medicine and vitamins I don’t take pills.  I’ve tried everything.  EVERYTHING.  Including fad diets and unhealthy practices, and all that has worked for me is counting calories.When I began exercising I remember running to the corner (3 houses away) and then walking.  I remember 5 pound dumb bells killing me.  I remember 4 minutes on the stair climber and then taking the elevator to the first floor at the Y because I couldn’t go down the stairs.  I remember being on the elliptical machine and felt like I was working my tail off and having the digital display tell me to pedal faster, because my speed wasn’t registering as movement.  I remember trying a push up and not being able to get myself up off the ground.  After three years of working out, I have seen amazing results.  Well, I am amazed, but then just as I’m easily amused, easily entertained, I am also easily amazed. I CAN DO so much more than I ever thought possible. Today I heard of this great medical plan that has allowed two ladies at work to lose 17 and 21 pounds in 5 weeks.  Another lady had gastric bypass, went from a size 22 to 2 in a year.  Sometimes these stories make me feel like I have spent a lot of time and effort when there was an easier way, but I don’t do easy. I have not allowed myself to forget how hard it was starting out.  I don’t want to forget, because I don’t want to go back there.  I don’t want to start over.  This could be a metaphor for my spiritual life as well.  I have been terribly out of shape spiritually.  My spiritual fitness was not a priority, and I wasn’t good at it, and I wasn’t very strong.  And my spiritual nutrition was lacking as well.  I think about the Children of Israel remembering Egypt and wanting to go back.  I remember my Egypt as a place I don’t want to see again.  This requires true remembrance, and a plan for moving ahead and staying my course.Ephesians chapter 4 talks about us growing up, not being infants any longer.  I want to continue to grow and mature.  I don’t want to get stuck at a certain spot in my life and not see progress.  I don’t want to plateau. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Desperate Pastor's Wives, Patsy Volume VI, and Giveaway 4

I posted about the book “Desperate Pastor’s Wives” that I couldn’t resist the title.  I checked it out at a little branch library I don’t stop at much anymore.  I was not familiar with the set up in this particular library and was in a hurry and came out of the library with 4 books, 3 of which were Christian fiction.  Christian fiction is not one of my favorite genres.  There are exceptions, any story taken from the Bible and made into a novel intrigues me.  As long as the account stays true to the Scripture and the author adds in the details, I’m fascinated.  I realize that may not be what really happened, but I love reading it as a story with more details.This book was about 4 pastor’s wives in a little town, all from different denominations, and was about their lives and their problems and their relationships with God.  Here is the reason I don’t like Christian fiction.  By the end of the book they had a need, whether spiritually, materially, or physically, had a God moment where their life turned around, and by “the end” God had fixed everything.  Don’t know about you, but in the last 278 pages of my life, God has not tied everything up in a nice little “and they lived happily ever after”.After finishing the third book late yesterday afternoon, I was more discouraged than ever.  I know I am in God’s hand, I know I should pray and believe he knows best and will do best, I know all this is true.  I just think these books may be wrong, based on my life, and I wondered why I had to check these out.  (I don’t believe much in chance, after 41 years I have pretty much seen a purpose for just about everything that has happened in my life. Except Glamour magazine.  I don’t think God is in that, I just love fashion).  Why couldn’t I have picked up the new Richard North Patterson political thriller?  Or surely there is a new Joel Rosenberg end times/middle East/political thriller out that I haven’t read yet? At the end of the evening yesterday, I realized something.  Several times in my life I have been through hard times, and at the end of that trial and that period in my life, God did wrap it all up.  So if Patsy, Volumes I-V are complete and had a God ending, maybe Volume IV isn’t done yet.  This isn’t the way life is going to stay, God still is working in the problems and trials we are facing.  And when Volume VI is over and Volume VII starts, it may cover 1 year of my life, or maybe 40.  But when it gets to the end, God will have done what he needed to do in my life, and I will look back over it and see that he completed what was started, he didn’t leave me hanging even though it did feel like that at times.  I think God led me to these books and through the discouragement of everything be neatly wrapped up to show me that I need to wait for him.  Romans 5:3-5 says “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”  I love verse 5.   (I will be writing more about building endurance and using these Scriptures again, aren’t they great)?Read on for….Give away #4The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas(From the book jacket) A Roman solder, Marcellus, wins Christ’s robe as a gambling prize.  He then sets forth on a quest to find the truth about the Nazarene’s robe, a quest that reaches to the very roots and heart of Christianity.  Set against the vividly drawn background of ancient Rome, this is a timeless story of adventure, faith, and romance, a tale of spiritual longing and ultimate redemption.If you read my blog, I know you like words, so you should like this giveaway.  I will be giving away a copy of this book.  I loved it.  I was fortunate to have checked it out from the library the month before Easter, so I was able to hear this story at the time we were celebrating a risen Savior.  This is one of the stories I talked about above where someone has added to an account from the Scripture, and all it did was make me love Jesus even more.If you haven’t read it, here’s your chance to win it.  Enter to win by leaving a comment.  If you can’t leave a comment, e-mail me at and reference  the blog giveaway, and I’ll make sure you are included. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Getting to know me...

Some of my faithful readers know me well, others, not so much.  So I am going to help you get to know me better.  (Translated, I didn’t really have anything to say, but felt like posting to my blog).Things I could live without but don’t want to
1. Pretty shoes
2. Sunglasses
3. Audio books
4. Diet coke
5. Mustard
6. My blackberry
7. Ibuprofen
8. Nice & Easy hair color
Things I could live without
1. The color pink
2. Traffic.  Let me be more specific.  I want to be the only car on the road.
3. Corn
4. Mosquitoes.  Not saying God made a mistake, but this might be the closest he came.
5. The Golf Network (or golf on any channel).
6. Teenage angst, attitude, and B.O.
7. Ugly shoes
8. Hangnails and cracked cuticles

Monday, April 13, 2009

Range Fire

I went to Kansas City on Saturday. This takes me through the Flint Hills. Cattle Pens, range burning, etc. It was range burning time. The fire on the way to Kansas City was really cool to look at, and it stayed on my mind all day. On the way home, there were still areas that were burning. I am a city girl, born and bred, but my dad’s family farms most of Reno County. I have been on the farm. I have been on the combine, the tractors, the horses, been in cattle stalls, and ran from chickens (I have bird issues).
On the way home, everyone was asleep, so I had the radio off and was keeping it quiet so they would all stay asleep, and I was chewing on what I had explained to Whitney as the reasons for range burning. One of the reasons for range burning is it to bring nutrients to the soil. The added nutrients make whatever grows in that soil more nutritious for whatever might then feed on the range. The burning is necessary for the next crop, the next generation’s health. I also explained to Whitney that it is a controlled burn. The rancher knows what he’s doing. (Did explain that sometimes range fires do get out of control, but usually, they are controlled).
So what’s on fire in your life right now? Struggling marriage? Problems with your children or teenagers? Sick family members? Is there someone that it just seems wants to make your life harder than it needs to be? Money trouble? There is a purpose. It’s not fun to think about, and it’s not something we ever ask for. But these internal fires are making us more “nutritious” to those around us. If we are willing to let our troubles be used to help others, than maybe, JUST MAYBE, we can feel like they were worth it. When I think about being able to “feed” someone, not with any wisdom I’ve gained from my personal range fires, but just the ability to say, “You are not alone. You are not the first to suffer this, and because I feel your pain, I know to pray for you”. And God does have it under control. He knows where the burn line is. He knows how deep and how much needs to be burned off. And he knows who you will be able to feed.

I prayed for each of you reading this when I posted it. If I know you and know that you read this, I prayed specifically for you! Have a great day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

And even more things I have learned

1. Starbucks is not a food group.  Mary Kate Olsen, put down the latte, pick up a burger already for crying out loud.
2. Some stains will not come out of the carpet.  If you finally get them out, they leave a stain of their own, as the only truly clean spot on the carpet now is the stain.
3. Cell phones should not be washed in the washing machine.
4. I can have ice cream for lunch (Dairy Queen Fudge Brownie Hot Fudge Sundae) and dinner (Cold Stone Sweet Cream with strawberries {notice I said FOR not with}) and stay within my allotted daily calories.  If I add exercise, I can even have a Fudgsicle for breakfast.  I should add to #1 that ice cream is not a food group either.
5. A group of teenage girls will sit in 35 degree weather with 22 mph winds wearing jeans and sweatshirts to watch a group of teenage boys hit a leather bound cork ball with an aluminum bat and run in circles. 
6. Arguing with a teenager is useless.  If the first sentences out of their mouth do not include “I’m sorry.  I was wrong. I won’t do it again”, just tell them they are grounded and be done.  It’s like asking “how old are you” and getting the answer “yellow”.
7. My last “things I have learned” post also included ice cream.  I’m learning I have a problem.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Can I be happy?

Is there something in your life you are waiting for that you think will make you happy? Make your attitude better? Sometimes I get this way. I think something needs to change for me to be in a better mood or have a better attitude or just to be happy. But what I have in Jesus is better than what I don't have in life. I forget this more often than I like to admit. So think about it. What do you want? Now, think, if it never happens, can you still be happy?
We have a God who loves us. We have everything we need. Psalms 23:1 "The Lord is my shepeherd, I have everything I need."
This post comes from having just struggled through one of the worst weeks I think I have ever had. Situations were bad, some new, but not anything more horrible than usual. I'm used to bad things. I sometimes feel like I'm immune. But not this week. And it cost me terribly. I like to think that I turn things over to God and move on trusting him. I'm generally a fighter. But not this week. After a pretty bad two week stretch, I didn't handle difficulty well. I cried. I didn't sleep. I didn't eat, I gave up. And I'm still not okay. But "The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green pastures. He leads me to calm water. He gives me new strength. He leads me on paths that are right for the good of his name. Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because you are with me. Your rod and walking stick comfort me. Your prepare a meal for me in front of my enemies. You pour oil on my head, you fill my cup to overflowing. Surely your goodness and love will be with me all my life and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." Psalms 23:1-6
I am choosing to not only believe this, but to act like I believe it. Because I have the Lord, I can be content. I don't need anything else.

My prayer for all of you today is that when you are faced with your struggles and trials and tests you will deal much better than I did this week. I was not going to share this, but I feel God wanted me to, because this happened the week after I heard from a couple friends that I was one of the strongest women they knew. They admired my total reliance on God. I think I let it go to my head. And see what happens when you get confident in yourself? God humbled me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Couldn't resist

Stopped at the library today on my way home, I love to read, and constantly have something going. Was at a little branch library, browsing through and came across this title. Will let you know if it's as entertaining as the title led me to believe it will be.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Heroes and Geniis

We discuss at my house which superhero would win a fight.  Batman or Spiderman, Fantastic Four or X-Men, Joe Dirt or Nacho Libre (if you don’t know who these last two are, I’m desperately jealous of your innocence.  Serious loss of brain cells, and I’m too old to generate any new ones).  My son believes that Superman would lose to everyone, as he is the wussiest superhero ever.  I saw on facebook the other day an interview with kids asking questions about mom.  I am not brave enough to do this.  I know with my kids I wouldn’t want the answer.  My kids inherited my spiritual gift of sarcasm.  One of the questions was “If your mom were a superhero, who would she be?”  I don’t want my kids to answer.  They would create superheroes with super powers I would be embarrassed to admit I possess. Like “Burp Mom” or say that I’m like Popeye, I develop super strength after I slam a diet coke (this is linked to aforementioned “Burp Mom”).  If I did have a superpower, it would be the ability to pack 6 brown bag lunches in under 4 minutes or find a single missing baseball or volleyball sock stuck by static cling to the inside of a pair of sweats, or make a diorama of “Charlotte’s Web” out of a shoe box, a tooth pick and a spool of thread. Or most recently an edible diorama of “Into the Wild” out of gingerbread, frosting, Ritz Crackers and sour punch straws; complete with an ice cream cone-green sprinkles-marshmallow tree.  More than one day’s notice would have helped greatly, but I think she got extra credit for feeding the class her diorama so it all worked out.Once we have outgrown superheroes, who do we admire?  My 16 year old son has a baseball coach that he loves and looks up to.  I hear countless “Coach B” stories.  (My favorites are all “Coach B agrees with dad that…”).  My daughter is in 7th grade and really looks up to a senior that plays for the high school volleyball team.  Sometimes they scrimmage the 18’s team (her team is 13) and it has been the highlight of her young life.  Have you ever had someone you looked up to make you wonder why you ever admired them to begin with?  Twice in the last few years my husband has had guys that he looked up to in his youth group that are a few years older than him tell him how much they admired and respected what he has done with his life.  What a compliment to have the people you once looked up to now admire you.  Who do I admire?  My husband.  Most of the preacher’s wives I am privileged to know.   I admire my pastor, Mark, and my worship pastor, Lance, both are really great men of God.  I also admire women who are seeking to live godly lives, everyday wives and mothers who are teaching their children about God, who are fighting to raise a godly generation and support their husbands and take care of their homes.  I admire women who are investing in others.  Meredith, Cindy, Jenny, Maxine, Wendi, Dixie, I could go on, but these are a few of the women I admire.   Along with super powers come the thought of wishes, I thought of Geniis and the question if you were granted three wishes what would you wish for?  In the Bible, there were a couple of instances where God (not a genii) granted a request.  Elijah asked Elisha what he wanted.  Solomon was asked what he wanted. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  Solomon asked for wisdom. I think both of these men used their request wisely. The book of Proverbs, written primarily by Solomon, is full of wisdom, practical wisdom that is applicable to our lives today.  I try to read Proverbs everyday with lunch.  It’s kind of my mid-day spiritual meal.  I don’t always get it done, and regularly renew my commitment to it, but I read the chapter that correlates to the day of the month.  This means I read the book of Proverbs in theory, 12 times a year.  It’s quite familiar, yet still fresh every time I read it.  Today was Proverbs 3 and was full of encouragement.  If you have a minute, read chapter 3.  I promise it will bless you. So what would I ask for?  Did Elisha and Solomon have an inside track to something?  James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”(NIV).  This applies to me – the whole Bible applies to me.  It’s like it was written with me in mind!  I do lack wisdom, and I could do with a generous helping without fault to go along with it.  Who needs a genii?  Who needs a super power?  WE GOT GOD!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I don’t know whether I’m freaked or flattered today. I got an e-mail through facebook this morning (2:29 a.m. to be exact). I didn’t read it till lunch, because I was asleep, or at least laying in bed trying, at 2:29 this morning. Someone has confused facebook, a SOCIAL NETWORK, with, an internet dating site. Either that or he's too poor for, if that's the case, he's definitely out. I can only assume that he browses (stalks?) the pictures of his friends and found mine, as my settings are all on private. I use the same profile picture for facebook that I use on my blog, so this picture above is what captured his attention. Direct quote from his letter “you look gorgeous, cute and awesome”. Really? Gorgeous and cute? All that from my face, not even my chin and forehead included. It ain’t front row seats at Alan Jackson, but for this lady, shouldn’t I be flattered? He is looking for someone passionate and affectionate, willing to give him a trial. I’ll give him trials, just ask my husband.
Let me just go on record before I start this, I am not against dating sites, (the 800 numbers freak me out, though) I think it would be brutally hard to meet a nice person this day and age. However, the side of me that has read too many crime novels and true crime stories and watched maybe just one too many episodes of 48 Hours Mystery is feeling stalked right about now, over one e-mail. Even though the tone is not stalkerish at all, I’m sure they don’t ever tell you “hey I would like to meet you so we can hang out, I’ll pretend to be normal until I have you fooled. Then you’ll start to notice that I have some really odd habits; a drawer full of ladies panty hose, nothing but canned carrots in my cabinet; a bassinet in the corner with a baby doll that I rock to sleep every night and call “chubbims” and a coffee table book “Anthology of Serial Killers, Essays from a Killer”, foreword by Dennis Rader. (I’m from Wichita, KS. My kids have their high school Bible Study meetings "Falcon Fellowship" at BTK’s church. Not kidding, that’s what they call it, right across the street from the high school). This book doesn’t really exist, don’t look for it on Amazon or at your public library.
So if I had to write an ad for a dating website or old fashioned personal ad in the newspaper, what would I say? PLEASE NOTE, I AM NOT SERIOUS! MY MARRIAGE IS NOT IN TROUBLE. THIS IS JUST FOR FUN.
MWF (married white female, not a great start) seeks DM or SM for friendship, possible relationship. Christ follower. Age 41 and look every year of it, proud of my crow’s feet and laugh lines because I feel I earned them. 5’6”, size 12, (20 pounds overweight, but trying to lose it). Red hair from a bottle to cover the gray, brown eyes. Constant dieter and fitness enthusiast. Neurotic, needy and high maintenance. Must be willing to be compared to the GREATEST MAN ON EARTH, as you will never measure up to the man I am currently married to. Enjoy spending time with my kids, running, music, blogging and reading true crime novels.
Now, who wouldn’t want to date me?
I had this conversation with a friend just last week, that I see myself as who I am in Christ, forgiven, a child of God, redeemed, restored, loved, highly valued. But I also see my sin. I know how deeply I have wounded my Savior, and continue to do so, even without wanting to. Steve and I were talking about this a couple nights ago, how the sin we really struggle with isn’t visible even to the ones that are closest to us. He made the comment that true repentance is confessing and turning from the sin, and then 2 days later you are right back there again, without meaning to be. It’s a struggle, and it can really be a downer.
This all took place after I accepted Christ, but I remember a time thinking I was a pretty good person/christian. I thought I lived a good life, and felt pretty good about myself spiritually. But now, I feel every day I struggle with something, even though I try to live every minute of every day for God. I fail, and I know that will happen, but I couldn’t figure out why the harder I tried, the more I seem to fail. I heard a sermon by Dr. David Jeremiah that put this in perspective for me. Here’s a little history, let's see how much I can remember from “auditing” Steve’s college Pauline Epistles class. The apostle Paul is credited with writing 13 books. Some are disputed, but he basically gets credit for all of them. The first was 1 & 2 Thessalonians, second was 1 & 2 Corinthians, and last was 1 & 2 Timothy. Don’t test me I won’t get the rest in order. In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul introduced himself as “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus”. We are used to hearing this, but it does sound pretty self important. Paul was a new Christian here. Dr. Jeremiah then pointed out that in the book of 1 Timothy 1 Paul said he was “chief among sinners”. Paul did not stray from God over the course of his life, quite the opposite. From the time he began writing his missionary letters and epistles to the time he ended with 1 & 2 Timothy, he grew closer to God, walked many years with him, tested him, believed him, grew in him. So what happened? The closer he got to the mark, the more he realized he didn’t measure up. The closer to perfection, the more he saw his flaws. I like this explanation. I don’t compare myself to Paul, and I know I am light years away from the mark of Jesus Christ. All I can do is my best, and then work harder. I will see even more clearly how I don’t measure up, it’s a vicious cycle, but one I intend to stay in. After all, Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" sounds like someone who stayed the course to me!