Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paid in Full

"If I reject the crucifixion of Christ for my payment, I will be crucified every day till the debt is paid. Forever." - John Piper
How thankful I am to Jesus for paying my debt...He is my Joy, my Rock, my Treasure, my ever present Rich Mullin's put it, He is my One thing!  
 How thankful I am to know God as my Father because He, before the foundation of the world, chose to make me His by adoption.  
I'm stopping in on my blog to let you all know that I am alive and well, but I am working at warp speed doing all my Father has put into my hand to do.  Your prayers for my family as we make some adjustments would be appreciated (details may follow, Lord willing I get some time to write them).  Thank you.
I pray all is well with you.  Thanks for visiting ;-)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The King of all kings has spoken...

Do you avoid certain passages of the Bible with your small children?  Recently I heard it recommended that parents skip "inappropriate" portions of the Bible when reading to/teaching their kids.  I suspect folks mean different things by that line of thinking and though I am aware of some of the arguments, I haven't heard any that I buy.  Our family plows through whatever book we're studying as a family, giving thanks to God for it and asking for the Spirit to guide our discussion.  As the children grow, so does the depth of our understanding together, but we do not have a category of texts that we label as inappropriate for any age. 

With that said, as an adult that has been reading/studying/delighting in God's Word for 30 years, there are still many texts I grapple with and am eager to grow in my understanding of.  There are hard texts.  There are passages that I read and do not understand yet.  I want to know more and more the God I worship, the One who created all that is visible and invisible for His glory, the One whose infinite wisdom is far beyond my finite comprehension, the One who gave Himself for me that I might be with Him for all eternity.

I give thanks to God for the church He brought me into membership with.  The leadership of our church does not shy away from "hard" or "uncomfortable" texts.  This past Sunday, Pastor Ayers read Judges chapter 19 (I'm sure this would fit into some people's "inappropriate for children" category).  This is one of those portions that I still grapple with every time I come to it.  He preached perhaps the most helpful sermon I've ever heard on chapters 19-21.  But before he preached, he read it and prayed along the lines of thanking God for THIS TEXT, which is His Word.

Praying with thanksgiving and the humility that understands that we NEED the Spirit to teach us...THAT is the best starting place!  Aren't we tempted at times to come to God's Word thinking we can stand as judge over it, deciding what is good and acceptable and what parts we should just skip over because they offend our sensibilities?  Or do we approach it like any other book, thinking we can reason out its meaning on our own? Is is just me or are you tempted to sometimes want to read only the parts you deem as "useful" or "exciting" and ignore or skim at best other portions because they're either hard to understand or you have no clue why they are in the Bible in the first place (genealogies, descriptions of the construction of temple, etc).  I know I have to remind myself when these temptations ensue that ALL of the Bible is the inspired Word of is ALL there for my correction, instruction and training in righteousness.  If I don't "get it," or if it offends my sensibilities, the problem is NOT with the text or the Author, it is with me.  Praying with humility and thanksgiving is a very good weapon for fighting these kinds of temptations.

The King of all kings has is not for us to plug our ears to any of His Word, but to submit ourselves to ALL of it with joy in the One who has spoken it to us in love.

Here is a link to the sermon if you would like to listen to it too.
Thanks for stopping by, Connie

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy January 1st, 2011 to all my friends in Blogville! 

We have two New Years Eve traditions (in addition to gathering with friends, praying together, playing games, enjoying their company, eating a lot, and staying up way later than we normally do).  These are all things we do on other occasions throughout the year, but there are two things special to New Year's Eve.

Before midnight strikes, we gather in a circle on the living room floor to share things from the past year we are thankful for.  We turn out the lights and pass a candle from person to person, giving everybody an opportunity...whoever has the candle, gets to do the talking.  Themes of thankfulness this year included things like: having loving family and friends, a gospel-proclaiming church to be a part of, various fun times God gave such as a trip to Bullwinkles and camping, the growth God has given us (spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally), ministry opportunities God gave us and the fruit that was born for His glory and our joy, the privilege of being able to stay home with our children and home school them for the Moms, and having jobs for the Dads in which they can honor the Lord and provide for their families.

Our second tradition is to pour glasses of whatever fruity drink is desired among our available options and to take turns making toasts as we look forward to the new year God is bringing us into.  We have much to anticipate because we have our hope in God, who rules and reigns with justice and mercy.   Throughout the Christmas season we sing things like "joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth, receive her King....He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found."  And "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given."  I worship this Son, who will see only increase to the government upon His shoulders.  I adore this Son, who "rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love."  I believe this is what we can continue to look forward to in 2011...may He give us growing faithfulness to Him this year, a boldness to proclaim Him to those He brings us into relationship with, and a love that serves others near and far with His wisdom and grace.  

Happy New Year to you!  I'm off to enjoy my friends who happen to still be here this morning, and my family...they are all waking up now.  Thanks for stopping by.