Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Remove the Log First

This is just a recap of something God revealed to me about a year and a half ago. At the time, our Care Group was studying the book Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney. I was reminded of this revelation the last time I was at Care Group and thought it might be beneficial to share it here.

It all happened as I was reading the news at CNN.com. The article was:

Moussaoui: 'No remorse' for 9/11
Al Qaeda plotter tells jury of his hatred for Americans
From Phil Hirschkorn
Friday, April 14, 2006 Posted: 12:26 a.m. EDT


I'd recommend reading the article if you want to understand my reflections upon it. Just cut and paste it into your browser if you want to read it.

I read the article in the morning and wrote this in the evening:

After reading this article first thing this morning, all I could think about was how anyone could have this much hatred for other people. And as I read his comments about putting his trust in “God” I was aware of how far off this man is—his “God” can’t save him and my God wouldn’t save him from the judgment he’s going to face because what he did was wrong and he was unrepentant. Not only that but, this man hates Americans because he thinks we’re Christians and because we support Israel—and Israel’s God. This man is totally in rebellion against God and is serving some other god distinctly different from the one and only God of the Bible. He’s basically serving Satan in complete opposition to God. I felt a minimal amount of pity for the man—so confused and oblivious. Then, I read this paragraph in C.J. Mahaney’s book Living the Cross Centered Life:

The other party (all of humanity) is undeniably, categorically, and completely guilty [of rebellion against God]—yet this guilty party doesn’t even care to be reconciled, but is locked in active hostility to the other party. In contrast, God is fully committed to resolution with the violators. (pg. 65)

Wow! I was just like that man—rebelling against God and not caring to be reconciled. Yet, God had mercy on me! I certainly didn’t think that this morning—I lacked compassion for this man and I was feeling very self-righteous. However, God has used this news story to open my eyes to what I was before Christ and the great undeserved grace that He has bestowed on me. And you know, now…I might just pray for that man—because he is exactly what I was before Christ opened my eyes and delivered me.

Romans 2: 1 says:
"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things."
and in Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus says:

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

When we are aware of the great sin debt of which God has forgiven us, we are so much more apt to have compassion on and forgive others of the much smaller debt which they commit against us. There is probably no greater depiction of this than Christ's parable recorded in Matthew 18: 21-35.

May each of us be more aware of our sinfulness that we might be more aware of God's rich grace toward us causing us to extend that grace to others and forgive from the heart.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Christmas Riddle

Q: What do you get when you put a curious two-year-old with a homemade apple-cinnamon ornament?

A: A bite out of your ornament!

At least that's how it went this morning as Matthew took to trimming the Christmas tree.

Oh the joy and laughter that would be absent in a world void of children! Isn't it kind of God to bless us so richly! It is such a glorious thing to behold the world through the eyes of children.

May you be richly blessed with child-like wonder as you celebrate the birth of God's Son, the Savior of the world, this holiday season!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

He Shoots, He Scores!

I'm using David's account to say, "Congratulations, my love, on your very first deer! I knew you would get one!! Happy Birthday!! I love you, handsome!!! Please wash your hands before you hug me though :P"
"And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything" (Genesis 9:1-4).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

100 Yards Out - First Day Hunting

Happy Thanksgiving! Today was my first day hunting. Gabe and I went out at 5:30 and was on the field by about 6:30. The sun rose around 7am and moments later here I am coughing up a storm in the woods. That was something I was not prepared for! I thought it would scare away the deer, but around 7:10 or so I so a flicker out the corner of my eye. On Gabe's side of the mountain was a deer, about 100 yards out. This is what I've been training for, 100 yard targets! I line up the deer broadside in my sights and was trying to get Gabe's attention to see if he could get the shot, it was his side of the mountain and all. No answer from gabe and here I am debating on taking the shot. What would you do if it was you? Take your friend's deer as your first kill, or let him take it? Well I was going to let him take it, until about a minute later when the deer ran off into the woods leaving neither one of us a shot. Later after leaving, I found out that it was a little buck, and Gabe couldn't get a shot from the angle he was at, and here I am trying to be the good guy and let him have it. Well now we know for tomorrow, if we get the shot, we take it. If it ends up with two bullet holes in it, oh well! Either way, I had a great time enjoying God's creation while watching and learning about deer. Maybe tomorrow, I can learn about the inside of the deer and how it tastes.
I hope everyone else is having an awesome day as well! Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and my wife posted before me because I was out "playing".


P.S. All hunting is done legally, with required licenses and permission from landowners. I don't kill for fun, but for food. If I made enough money to buy it from the store all the time, I would!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, as of right now this blog doesn't really have a regular readership that I know of. But, for anyone who may be passing by:

Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for today?

Where to begin??? I'm most thankful for God sending His one and only Son to die on the cross for my sins and for His opening my heart to receive His gift of eternal life by the blood of Christ. Next, I'm most thankful for my godly husband who is out working hard to get some venison on his day off. :D Then, I'm thankful for my precious children who are getting into all kinds of things while I work in the kitchen. I'm also thankful for the rest of my family all over the country with whom I'm missing sharing the kitchen work and fellowship :P I'm extremely grateful for the church family that God has given me with which my husband and I are able to grow. I praise God for the honesty, transparency, and courage with which our pastors and leaders teach Biblical truth. And I'm grateful for our dedicated care group leaders...I think I speak for David too when I say that they truly are our best friends and part of our family. And then there's everything else...our warm house and clothes, great food, etc. etc. etc. God has been so faithful to our family! His grace, lovingkindness, and faithfulness are much more than I could ask for, hope for, or even imagine.

I read 1 Chronicles 16 which was so fitting for today. It records King David's song of thanks when he moved the ark of God back to Jerusalem:

"Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done..." (1 Chronicles 16: 8-12)
This is where my focus needs to stay...on God...what He has done and is doing all around me. May your focus also be on praising and thanking God on this special day set aside for thanksgiving.

And on the lighter side...here's a pic my sis sent me:

May you have a blessed holiday! And if you can't think of anything else to be grateful for...at least you're not the turkey or this poor guy!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Like Father, Like Son

Matthew was meandering through the house when he happened upon Mommy with her hand in the candy jar. As I handed him a chocolate, he said, "Chocolate! That's what I'm talking about!" So there you have it, Mom's influence in a love for chocolate and Dad's influence in choice of words. Aren't kids such a great reminder that we truly need to guard our words?

I am reminded that the Bible has much to say about our words. Proverbs 10:19 reminds us that:
"When words are many, transgression [sin] is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent."
I sure could stand to restrain my lips far more frequently than I do. Fortunately for me, Matthew chose to imitate Daddy who is a man of much fewer, well-chosen words. I would do well to imitate his example, as well.

Thank you, handsome for setting such a wonderful example for your family and friends!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Apart From Us...

As I was reading Hebrews 11 this morning, something new stood out to me. I read about all the ways that these people had faith far greater than my own. Scripture speaks of many ways that these fathers and mothers of the faith conquered kingdoms through their faith. My faith seems so weak in comparison. Look at this:

"Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated--of whom the world was not worthy--wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." (emphasis mine)

There are parts of the world where this description is true of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It's not true for the majority of people around me. Honestly, I don't want to suffer this way! Would I, if push came to shove? Probably. But would I volunteer. Not on my life. But Moses did volunteer. He chose to be mistreated with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. That's what Hebrews 11 tells us in verse 25.

But this isn't the part that really stood out to me. I'm already pretty familiar with how I don't measure up to the believers of the Bible. Here's what gets me:

"And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect." (emphasis mine)

I so do not deserve to be made perfect with the likes of these people. God should have just made them perfect. But He didn't. He chose to wait that I might be made perfect with them by the blood of Christ. I am not worthy. If you read this blog long enough, or if you've spent any time around me at all, you will see or have seen that even my best intentions are laden with sin. No wonder they're like filthy rags before God my Father. Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that Christ died on the cross for my poor wretched soul. By His grace, I will be made perfect with others who appear to be far more deserving, who have made far more sacrifices, who have displayed far greater faith.

May your day be blessed as you allow this truth to sink in to your life as well. May the result be joy and praise to our Lord and Savior. If you don't understand this post, don't simply shrug it off, ask questions, your life could depend on it. And please, fellow believers, allow this to be a reminder to pray for those who are suffering for their faith in Christ. If it's not you now, it could very well be one day.

"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Q: What Do Naptime and Silicone Have in Common?

A: One cute toddler and one mischievous preschooler.

So our dear son was trying to feed this precious wee one silicone today. Fortunately, he isn't very good at feeding infants. However, he was fairly effective at getting it all over her hair and the side of her face. Not to worry, the doctor said it will come off with Mineral Oil...eventually.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Little Bit of a Mess

I was trying to think of a way of describing our day yesterday, but to say the least... A Picture says a thousand words! It wasn't all that bad, Matt's little escapade was only at the end of the day. We got to share in good fellowship and a great sermon from our Pastor, Steve Teter. Enjoy the picture, and may God Bless you all.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Honey Made Me A Contributor

Hello everyone,

My handsome husband made me a contributor on his blog today. Of course, that doesn't mean that you'll see regular posts from me because I am horribly inconsistent with posting. Anyway, thanks for adding me, honey! I love you!