Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Proverbs 31 Challenge Challanged

There is a blogosphere challenge going on right now, encouraging women to become more like the woman of Proverbs 31. In theory, I believe this is a wonderful idea. In practice, however, I believe it may fall a little short. If you have accepted the challenge and are following through, that's great. Don't stop on my account. What I want to make you aware of is that it is possible to go through all the motions of the challenge and not be any more virtuous than when you started. For example, one of the challenges was to see three sunrises this week. You can do that, but the act in and of itself will not make you more Christlike. When you go through these challenges, make sure you are asking yourself why it is you need to make those changes in your life. Look for the principle behind the action, then make changes in your life.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pretty is - is Pretty Does

I often listen to my daughter's conversation with friends (yes, they know I'm listening) and very often, the conversation will eventually come round to the topic of where all the "real" men have gone. Lately, I have been wondering where the ladies have gone as well. While we probably aren't groomed like the girl in the photo here, what about our behavior? Are we as abrasive or loud as this girl's hair? Or, do we have a gentle and quiet spirit? It is not enough to be delicate on the outside; we must be delicate on the inside as well. This does not mean we are weak. Trust me, real women have great strength of character, but that strength is in the Lord - not in the toughness of the world. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic or treats you unfairly, remember this photo and ask yourself if your response mimics this girl's hair or imitates the character of Christ. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hope Springs Eternal

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 1-5

As I witness my father’s sluggish passing from the harsh Winter of his sufferings into the newness of Spring’s hope of glory, I find myself longing for the dawn that lies on the other side of this dark night’s watch. For many months now, my father has been in the dark and cold winter season of life. Winter is now drawing to a close for him, but this last leg of his journey is one that, to outside viewers, seems to be solitary and lonely. As Christians and fellow sojourners in this life, we know this is not so. Even as my father gives the impression of no longer being lucid and stares blankly at nothing, I believe he is simply beginning his passage into the Spring of eternity with Christ. This is not a crossing that he makes alone. If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! Psalm 139:8……He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

What a glorious Spring awaits my father on the other side, to be free from the bondage of sin and its effects on our frail human bodies, to truly know and be in the presence of the glory of the Lord, to have his hope realized. How truly beautiful our Lord must be! And what joy will be his as he will finally be able to worship in spirit and in truth! This is what we long for, to finally be able to fulfill our chief end: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. For the common man, Winter is end of his journey, but for those who love the Lord hope springs eternal.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Coming Next Month

April 24 - 30 is TV Turn-Off Week. For those of us who have slipped into mindless TV watching (ahem, ahem - self included), now might be a good time to start paying attention to just how much of your time is media saturated. Notice that I didn't just mention TV. How much unnecessary time am I spending on the computer when I could be blessing my family? How often do I drown out the voice of God with my satellite radio in the car? Too often in today's world, we use the media as an emotional pain killer rather than laying everything at the feet of Jesus and doing things in His strength. Let us each ask God to search our hearts. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

When Admiration Becomes a Problem

I think sometimes women get confused. Not being a man, I cannot speak for that gender. I do know that admiration of others can develop into something greater and sometimes something sinful. In some instances, admiration of another leads to idolization or emulation. Let me give you an example.

I know of a woman whom I had always admired. She has 7 children, homeschools them all, lives on a very large farm that will some day be self-supporting. Even before I became well acquainted with this woman, I idolized her. I had always wanted a large family. I was homeschooled myself, so I have a natural bent towards homeschooling. I have always been attracted to the self-sufficient type of lifestyle. But this woman's lifestyle is not what God has for me. I am not a high energy person - never have been. I could not keep up with all that land, farm animals, or children. God knows best.

Growing up, I always admired the discipline and sacrifice of Olympic athletes. I would have loved to have been a gymnast or an ice skater. No matter what I do, one of my legs will always be shorter than the other, and my spine will always be curved. I have always had and will always have a weak constitution. God knows best.

When I was 11, I saw Itzhak Perlmann on TV and admired his passion for music. I wanted to play the violin and make it sing like he did, but I am one of those people who cannot even pat their head while rubbing their stomach. God knows best.

My husband loves basketball, but no matter what he does, he will always be short and stocky - not your basketball type build. God knows best.

My point is this; as you peruse the blogosphere and read about people that you admire or wish you could be like, be careful. While someone else's life is good or they have admirable qualities, that doesn't mean that everyone is supposed to have those same gifts or talents. In and of themselves, those things (like have 7 children or being musically gifted) do not make you more godly. Maybe your life is not as pretty as a china tea cup; maybe God wants you to be an everyday mug that is used more often. ;) Don't look at other peoples' lives to as an example - look to Christ. God knows best. Posted by Picasa