Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Giving Up for Christ

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and Lent begins... Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. What are YOUR plans during Lent? Are you giving something up? Or maybe praying daily for someone?

Q: What are appropriate activities for ordinary days during Lent?

A: Giving up something we enjoy for Lent, doing of physical or spiritual acts of mercy for others, prayer, fasting, abstinence, going to confession, and other acts expressing repentance in general.

Q: Is the custom of giving up something for Lent mandatory?

A: No. However, it is a salutary custom, and parents or caretakers may choose to require it of their children to encourage their spiritual training, which is their prime responsibility in the raising of their children.

I have thought a lot about what I am going to give up during this time and I came up with 2 things that are causing me to falter in my walk with God.

1. Give up all soda - I drink this in excess and it is becoming detrimental to my health. The soda controls me instead of me controling it.

2. Swearing - I have a horrible mouth and truly need to Sanctify my mouth. Bite my tongue until it bleeds.

Q: Is there such a thing as denying ourselves too many pleasures?

A: Most definitely. First, God made human life contingent on certain goods, such as food, and to refuse to enjoy enough of them has harmful consequences. For example, if we do not eat enough food it can cause physical damage or (in the extreme, even death). Just as there is a balance between eating too much food and not eating enough food, there is a balance involved in other goods.

Second, if we do not strike the right balance and deny ourselves goods God meant us to have then it can generate resentment toward God, which is a spiritual sin just as much as those of engaging in excesses of good things. Thus one can be led into sin either by excess or by defect in the enjoyment of good things.

Third, it can decrease our effectiveness in ministering to others.

Fourth, it can deprive us of the goods God gave us in order that we might praise him.

Fifth, it constitutes the sin of ingratitude by refusing to enjoy the things God wanted us to have because he loves us. If a child refused every gift his parent gave him, it would displease the parent, and if we refuse gifts God has given us, it displeases God because he loves us and wants us to have them.

"Lent offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism. In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we've done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need."

I am wishing you time of blessings and prayer during the next 40 days! So, would you like to share with me what you are planning to do during Lent?

Monday, February 27, 2006


After an incredible weekend listening to Beth Moore speak.... I can't get one of the worship songs out of my head. I keep humming it over and over! It's one of those that explains your life, that makes you tap your foot, and bounce your head! Not to mention raise you hands to God feeling free! So... Now I will share it with you!

Shackles by Mary Mary

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
(what’cha wanna do? )
I just wanna praise you
(yeah, yeah)
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
(uh feel me? )
And I’m gonna praise you
(what’cha gondo? )
I’m gonna praise you

In the corners of my mind
I just can’t seem to find a reason to believe
That I can break free
Cause you see I have been down for so long
Feel like all hope is gone
But as I lift my hands, I understand
That I should praise you through my circumstance

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you

Everything that could go wrong
All went wrong at one time
So much pressure fell on me
I thought I was gonlose my mind
But I know you wanna see
If I will hold on through these trials
But I need you to lift this load
Cause I can’t take it no more

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you

Been through the fire and the rain
Bound in every kind of way
But God has broken every chain
So let me go right now

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you
(repeat x3)

Take them off
What’cha gonna do, yeah

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hungry for God?

After my post the other day.. I thought the devotional I got today was so fitting to share!!!

Hungry for God
by John Fischer

Our ministry is to serve the needs of believers; our mission is to serve the needs of those who are not presently Christians. The latter can present a problem. You can’t really serve someone if you don’t know them, but being in relationship with those who aren’t Christians can be dangerous. Old habits and old ways of life can come back to haunt us when we are around people who don’t share our desire to follow Christ.

For this reason it may be necessary to keep only Christian friends for a season, but the goal for us all is to be stronger than this. God didn’t save us and leave us on earth to band together and live nice, safe little Christian lives until He returns or we die, whichever comes first. We are here to share the good news of God’s forgiveness with those who don’t know about it yet, and we can’t do that without getting close to people who need it. We need to be close enough to people to know them, love them, identify with their need, and serve them without judging them or losing our own hold on Christ.

How will we do this? A couple suggestions to think about today:

1) don’t ever forget we are all sinners in need of salvation. This will help keep us from a self-righteous and judgmental attitude. We never have a perfect day; we encounter our own need to be saved all the time, because we all sin and fall short of God’s glory. We lead people to Christ, not by reaching down to them from a place of invulnerable perfection, but as one hungry person showing another where the food is.

2) Remember that sin entraps everyone. Our friends who are resistant to Christianity may very well have a soft heart to God and the truth but it’s covered up by a host of things that blind us all like fear, failure, addictions and all sorts of false coping mechanisms. Success, power and wealth can blind us just as easily. We need to ask God for the ability to look past all these distractions to the heart, because at the heart, everyone is hungry for God. We were created that way.

Lord, teach us to see people as you see them. May we not give in to the things that once entrapped us. Make us keen to the lie and hungering for the truth today, and help us to find it even in those who don’t know you. Remind us that we are all children when it comes to you, even the toughest among us. Show us how to love everyone and stay true to you.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Interactive Johari Window

The Johari Window was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness. By describing yourself from a fixed list of adjectives, then asking your friends and colleagues to describe you from the same list, a grid of overlap and difference can be built up.

Go to THIS page and pick 5 or 6 words that describe you... then past your link back on my blog under comments and I will add my thoughts too!!!

Here is Mine for you to add your description of me!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Reaching out....

As a Christian how are you reaching out to others? Many Christians keep themselves in a close knit circle only being friends and helping other Christians! But, is that really what God calls us to do? Close off people who are NOT Christians? Or maybe make our walk a little harder? I have recently found myself to be feeling a bit "too" comfortable in my surroundings yet stepping out seems absolutely scary! Having been a Christian a full year now, I have made friends with woman through out my church and Mops. All God loving woman.... But.. I do have several close "old" friends who have yet to accept Christ, But the catch here is they knew me before I accepted Christ thus I feel comfortable with them. Do we only reach out a helping hand to people in our small group? Or do you stretch it and try to reach out to people who do not know Christ's love like the Bible calls us too? For me, it's scary. Will I be taken advantage of? Will they ask me questions I can't answer? What if God's light isn't shining through me? What if they become a stumbling block for me, or me for them? Sigh... It is such a delicate thread to try and balance on. EGR = Extra Grace Required yep.. Everybody has them.. People in their lives who need a little EGR! I have one right now that is truly skating down my very last nerve. Mostly it's their behavior and I am having to take many many deep breaths. I like her and all, it's just well... Her personality and mine clash slightly! LOL.... I guess that's putting it nicely huh? I am praying for her though and praying for myself in dealing with her! I placed the relationship in God's hands in hopes he will take care of it and move it where ever it needs to go. I think this is another reason I am scared to reach out into the unknown.... They may become my next EGR! Seriously.. What if I reach out to someone and they drive me crazy?? What if they................. The list could get long here! Sigh.... "God help me out here!!! Pack up all my judgments, frustrations, open nerves and send them away. Allow me to accept people for all they show themselves to be. Help me to love everyone even if they are different from me, even if they don't believe what I believe, even if drive me crazy! I am opening up both hands lord, and handing over all my relationships, allowing you to take the reins and steer me in the right direction! It's in your son's name we pray - Amen"

Friday, February 17, 2006

Superficial Religious Badge...

How do you wear your badge?

What exactly does it mean to wear a superficial religious badge...

All my life one thing I have always been told is that I am "real". Take it or leave it I am who I am. At times this hasn't been a good thing, but often it is. I never pretend to be someone I'm not. Nor do I feel like I need to wear a special badge that screams out I have it all together! I guess, I don't understand why some people feel they must? We recently discussed this during a bible study, and maybe it's because I haven't been a Christian long enough? I am still new enough that I don't feel the need to say I know it all? I totally get God?

One day I may look back at this point and say.. ohhhh totally wore my badge today But I am hoping I never have too!

This is what we were reading to start this conversation:

Catalyst: Groupzine a study for next generation leaders


One of 4 occupational hazards that spiritual leaders often face: Listed below is just one of those

The spiritual professional:

"We perceive spirituality as our job. As a spiritual "professional", we view our realtionship with God and others as our job. We attempt to feed others something we're not consuming ourselves. Those who are invovled in ministry, whether as a volunteer or as a pastor, are most susceptible to this. Our spirituality becomes a 9 am to 5 pm deal, or an "every Sunday" event where we try to turn on our relationship with God on demand. Since people expect us to be "spiritual" , we fall into the trap of saying the right spiritual cliche at the right time to meet those expectations. Our life is no longer filled with genuine love for God, but rather with appropriate expressions of spirituality."

So today... tomorrow and the day after that.. work totake off your spiritual badge! Be real with those around you. People are more likely to see Christ working through you when your not pretending to be something your not.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Yeah for hump Day!

Yeah.. I made it to Wednesday. I had an insane week last week. Giving my testimony on Saturday went better than I could have expected. The responses were great... My testimony was given not to be enjoyed but to learn from it. God knows I have learned a lot from it! LOL.... Our weekend was non stop with Tea & Treasures, 2 birthday parties plus we worked both services at Church. Then Tuesday was a Mops meeting so I think today is the first day I have sat still for more than 10 minutes.

Oh and joy of all joy... Bible study is at my house tonight and it seriously looks like a tornado struck my house. Bahhh... whoops! Oh well... I have the afternoon right?

The count down to Lori leaving is on! 6 days... ugh.. The packers are there as we speak. She is in a tunnel. I feel so bad as everyone is thinking about themselves and what they are loosing but we are only loosing one person, Lori is loosing all of us and heading to an unknown place. Well, not totally unknown I mean her brother lives near by.... but you all know how it is with family!!! eeekkkk.....
I am coming to a better place with her leaving although I am deeply sad, I know we will stay in touch (since I taught her to use IM and all). Now we both just need to invest in a webcam. Also I am realizing that I kind of latched on to her and maybe didn't give my fullest attention to other people around me, so plan on trying to deppen some friendships that may currently be just surface friendships. If that makes any sense whats so ever! Yesterday was her last Mops meeting which will just be weird as I don't know the new coordinator as well, and Lori was my sounding board for everything I did with the Moppets. I am excited to see what God has in store for Lori in Colorado - did I mention that's where the Mops Headquaters are????? And also what he has in store for our friendship, and my time here in Columbus! It will be very interesting indeed!
So for now we won't say goodbye but rather just See you later!!

I have another busy weekend ahead of me! So hopefully I will get another chance to blog soon!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Can a Tuesday actually be worse than a Monday?

BLAH.............................. There it is, can you see it?? I just vomited all over the page! Now, I am not talking about sick vomit I am more talking like one of those minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, life, type of vomit! I just had one of those days where I seriously should have just gone back to bed! My day was... moody.. irritable... depressing!

So my good friend.. no my best friend here in Columbus, Lori is moving on the 21st. sigh.. Seriously just typing that makes me cry. Her husband is Air Force and after 3 years here they are off to Colorado Springs. I try to keep picturing what life here without will be like and honestly it is beyond depressing. Lori was my first friend here, and she scooped me up and took me and my family in. Sigh... I feel like without her here why stay.. BUT... God keeps yelling back at me that my time here isn't done yet just her's. humph.... Some days I really wish I were deaf. Lori is one of those people who is a soul shifter. Her smile lights up every room she walks in too. Compassion oozes from her pores. Her laughter is contagious - One that echo's through out the house and gives you giggles when you hear it. Lori is raw, real, humble, brillant, honest, & worthy. My friendship with her has been life altering, life shaking, life waking. She held my hand as I reached up to Christ, and even when it shooked she held tight and safely placed my heart into God's hands. She has been the big sister I have always dreamed of having. The most amazing thing about Lori is she knows my deepest darkest secrets yet she still loves me, to me that is what a true friend is all about.

I am sad............................ I think it stinks and I am stamping my foot on the ground and throwing a temper tantrum like a 3 year old. Pout..... There should be a law against your favorite friends moving away. I think I might need to out law it here in Mississippi and FAST. The 21st is days away. Honestly, I'm scared I just won't be able to do this Christian thing without her.
(yikes did I seriously just type that? maybe I should delete it?) I know life will go on but my life will never be the same.

My child was a weepy emotional mess today. Ugh.. is this normal for 3 year old boy's? Holy sensitive boy. Maybe he too realizes his friends Kendall, Garrett, and Dillion are leaving him too. He has been so clingy the past few days. I feel like I just need space to breathe. God love him...

Saturday is our Mops tea & treasure, and I am sharing my testimony. This is not something you can really practice. This is something you must pray deeply about. My story isn't pretty. It is raw.. real.. emotional.. overwhelming even for me. I wear my heart on my sleeve along with my hurts and accomplishments. There will be 3 of us speaking and by far mine is the "ugliest". Each one is just so different it is amazing how God does that, and I am hoping that we each connect with at least one person in that room. I am praying, I am stressing, I need to pray and just turn it over to God but I am struggling with that. I need to trust in HIM and less in me. Ugh.. why is that so easy in thought yet so hard to accomplish???

Good Night my friends.. my Wednesday actually feel like a Wednesday!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Gosh when did my life get so boring?

So I got a note today that I needed to update my blog. I have been sitting here thinking what I have to write about, and honestly I can't come up with anything interesting. WHEN did my life get so boring.. so BLAH????

Alex and I are home sick with head colds. He was up at 4am vomiting snot. Always lovely. I have no energy to clean or do laundry and he refuses to nap. Ahhhh the life of a three year old. Such joys!

We once again are working with the March Of Dimes. Alex will be the Ambassador for the Columbus walk on April 2nd. We went yesterday to the kick off for fundraising and of course Alex was my ham. Eating up the people and the camera too! He is beyond my expectations. I am hoping to out do myself from last year. My goal for Spring 2006 is 1500.00. It will be a stretch but one I am going for! If you would like to donate or walk with us please visit our walk page!

Will update again soon!