Tuesday, September 30, 2008
281. a husband that knows how to fix a hot water heater
282. a son who helps his Dad work on the hot water heater
283. food in the frige
284. able to do six miles on the stationary bike
To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.
~ Albert Schweitzer
...happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
Our hot water heater is broken. I griped and complained doing dishes using cold water today. A year ago I griped about doing the dishes in the sink, but I since I haven't had a working dishwasher for over a year now I really have learned to adjust to doing dishes in the sink, actually enjoying the warm, sudsy, therapeutic water .... the way my moma and grandmother did the dishes for years.
Today, across the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day; 3 billion live on under two dollars a day; 1.3 billion have no access to clean water; 3 billion have no access to sanitation; 2 billion have no access to electricity.1
30,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from poverty-related issues? That's 210,000 a week or over 10 million a year, if you're counting.2
Americans spend $110 billion a year on fast food, 3
39 billion dollars a year on their pets. 4
We are carrying over 2 trillion dollars in credit card and auto debt.5
OK, facts are great but what am I supposed to do about 'the least of these'? I am praying and considering. Perhaps for one week, I will buy nothing – nothing – but the necessities. Money saved during the week will go to someone less fortunate. I haven’t determined all of my needs and wants, but some sacrifices are already clear: no magazines, no clothes, no diet coke, no dining out, no processed foods. I believe I'll learn a lot about myself during those 7 days ... my materialistic nature and my wastefulness. I doubt that by doing this I will lessen suffering throughout the world, but that is not the goal here. The goal is to change my heart. I'm not sure when I will begin this, but it will happen. What about you? Are you up for 7 Days of Nothing?
1 Globalissues.org "Poverty and Hunger Facts" 2 UNICEF State of the World's Children 2005 3 Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser4 CNN.com 5 CNNmoney.com
Sunday, September 28, 2008
“The curious paradox of the atoning death of a bloody Jesus rising above the plane of human history with a mocking crown of thorns is that he is offensive in an attractive way.
It is the utter horror of the cross that cuts through the chatter, noise, and nonsense of our day to rivet our attention, shut our mouths, and compel us to listen to an impassioned dying man who is crying out for the forgiveness of our sins and to ask why he suffered.
Tragically, if we lose the offense of the cross, we also lose the attraction of the cross so that no one is compelled to look at Jesus. Therefore, Jesus does not need a marketing firm or a makeover as much as a prophet to preach the horror of the cross unashamedly.”
—Mark Driscoll, Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches
Saturday, September 27, 2008
have been the few
which I have passed at home
in the bosom of my family.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
that happens to you,
knowing that every step forward
is a step toward achieving something
than your current situation.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And both that morning equally lay
I shall be telling this with a sigh
At some point in our journey, as travelers passing through, we will come to a crossroad, a fork in the road and be forced to make a choice ... which path to take? How do we make the right decision? How do we prevent aimless wandering? What is the right path?
The right path is one that is lines up with the Word of God.
The right path will be consistent with who He made you to be.
The right path will usually lead you away from self-service to servant hood.
We can get advice from friends, family, etc. But, for fail-proof directions, seek God. He will be your confident guide.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I heard not one, but two sermons today on forgiveness. Ok Lord, I hear you! Forgiveness ... it's a tough one!
In one of the sermons, a heart-wrenching story was told about a person that got behind the wheel after drinking heavily. He lost control of his vehicle and hit another car, instantly killing driver. The deeply grieved family insisted, as part of his punishment, that he address and mail an envelope with a dollar bill in it to them each week for five years to serve as a reminder for taking their loved one's life. However, this punishment was ultimately even more painful to the family who received a weekly reminder of the grief and sorrow of the loss of their loved one.
The lesson here is: unforgiveness hurts us more than it hurts the one who offended us. Sadly, when we harbor unforgiveness in our heart we are out of fellowship with our Lord Jesus. We are commanded to take the sins of others and, according to the literal Greek of the word, forgive, which is aphiemi, to send forth, or send away.
Colossians 3:13 says, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
The person who sees the greatness of his own forgiveness by God's love, will himself, in love, be forgiving. He forgives in love because his heavenly Father has forgiven in love and he desires to be an imitator of His Father. -David Curtis
Lord Herbert said, "He who cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass."
A saint of long ago said, "Revenge, indeed, seems often sweet to men; but, oh, it is only sugared poison, only sweetened gall, and its aftertaste is bitter as hell. Forgiving, enduring love alone, is sweet and blissful: it enjoys peace and the consciousness of God's favor."
Colossians 3:13 says bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Ann has now challenged me to consider looking closely at the everyday ugly-beautiful things in my life. Thanks, Ann.
The lyrics from If I Could Save Time In A Bottle
by Jim Croce (1972) came to mind today. Remember?
"Your silent actions will speak much louder than your words and will move you closer to His heart." -Woodrow Kroll
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Whatever this life holds for her I will tell her who holds it. I will tell her about The One who has her in the palm of His hand. The One who orchestrated her life from the beginning. The One who cares about every detail of her life. The One who will never leave or forsake her. The One who wants to give her abundant life. The One.
And as I tell her this, I hear Him whisper the same to my heart as He holds me. I need this reminding daily. Watch. Pause. Gaze. Delight. Wonder. And soak us His love. His grace. His mercy. His provision. His plan.
This child, teaching me.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The world feeds us continual lies about the source of happiness. If only we had a new house, a new car, a new wardrobe, perfect health, a perfect spouse, etc. Admittedly, we all want to be happy and comfortable. However, if happiness depends on our current state of affairs, where will we be when those things wear out, our health is threatened, and our spouse dies?
Here's something I wrote in my journal a few years ago. . . .
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order,
confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
275. lessons learned while helping Missy bake a cake
Saturday, September 13, 2008
your fear the loss of Him,
your sorrow His absence,
and your joy in that which may take you to Him,
— St. Teresa of Avila
Tears flowed this morning.
You don't need me at all to create your list of good and evil. But you do need me if you have any desire to stop such an insane lust for independence.... Mackenzie, evil is a word we use to describe the absence of Good, just as we use the word darkness to describe the absence of Light. ...evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence."[p.136]
Thursday, September 11, 2008
God: “I did not purpose Missy’s death, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it for good.”
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Whatever you are facing today, whatever unexpected intrusion, stress, hurt, or insecurity, the Father wants you to know that He loves you. Really loves you. Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Is it really possible that LOVE is the answer? Could LOVE alone make a difference in this sin-sick world? Could we truly find freedom from our personal chains if we could only grasp the tender love of our Father?
One of my favorite new-found authors Wayne Jacobsen writes,
"The reason we don’t experience his fullness in our unfolding lives is because we live as if we are not loved. Fearful he won’t take care of us, we believe the lie that says God only helps those who help themselves. The most important thing we can discover is that the God of the Ages wants nothing more than for you to know him as the Abba—the tender Father who wants to sweep you up in his arms and transform you by winning you to the simple reality that no one loves you more than he does. This is not just an intellectual conclusion; it is a revelation at the core of our being. Ask him to give you that. Pray that he will show you with ever-increasing clarity how much affection he has for you. Only then can life truly unfold!"
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
That I may go to that altar of God,
to the God of my joy and gladness,
and on the harp I will give thanks to you,
O God, my God.
266. celebrating Griff's 19th birthday
267. spending a day with some bright 3rd graders
268. tuna and crackers for lunch
269. a diet coke on crushed ice
Monday, September 1, 2008
Life is all about change and transition. Here's a few I have had to make in the past year...
Serious accident of nephew,
Diminishing health of uncle who has cancer,
Daughter dates and drives now,
Becoming a grandmother,
Burying my sweet mother-in-law,
Helping my oldest move to Atlanta to attend college,
Just today, I cleaned up and put away things in the boys' room that they no longer need. Let’s face it; nothing remains the same. God is always changing us, transforming us, and molding us to be something different and better than we are. Although change is never comfortable for me ... it is the will of God. In the Word, we read that God is the potter and we are His clay. That is a perfectly clear image for me because I have been feeling a lot like wet dirt lately ... extremely lumpy!But you know what? I am realizing that in my lumpiness, I am being shaped into a vessel, refined in the fire until I am am worthy to be used for His glory!Times of transiton are inevitable and can be so difficult and trying! I actually uttered to my husband recently during a pitiful pity-party, "This is not how I planned my life to be!" We all make plans but almost certainly our plans will be divinely disrupted. That's a guarantee! In these times of change and transition I must cling even more to my Savior, humble myself and look at things through His eyes of love.
Philippians 2 says,
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose. Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.