Sunday, September 30, 2007
We're called to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything [Jesus has commanded us].
Why witness to others? Because we are commanded to do this. Jesus did not wait for his disciples to come to him. He called them. He went among the people to share what God is doing and how God wanted them to live: repent, love and worship God, love your neighbor, act justly and with mercy. We're called to share what God is doing in our own lives - not to get into anyone's face, but to be honest about ourselves.
I find this difficult to do because I don't want to be seen as looking for the setup. I want my witness to others to flow naturally, to be real, and not come across like a sales pitch. People who are honest and real have had the greatest impact on me.
My challenge now is to focus on what God is doing in my life and to tell myself this. Then I will be able to share with others. God has done, is doing, and will do wonderful things. Most certainly God is leading me to focus on following him and not to look back to what happened when our previous pastor left NEPC. God continues to reign even when his people make a mess of things.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
That program made me curious about the blessings that Jewish parents say over their children. On Friday nights fathers (and sometimes mothers) place hands on their sons and say, "May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe." Why Ephraim and Manasseh? The following information is from Aish.com
- "Ephraim and Menashe were the first brothers among our forefathers to live without rivalry."
- "Ephraim and Menashe were brothers who lived in harmony, for their life focus was the highest example of working for good for their community and people."
- "Of the 12 sons and their families, these two were the only ones to grow to maturity outside of the Land of Israel. Yet despite great odds, they still remained steadfast in their commitment to Judaism. We cannot always guarantee that our children will not be exposed to a negative environment. We therefore give them the blessing to be like those who were not tempted by their immoral surroundings and maintained their ethical and righteous behavior."
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. (Psalm 133:1)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The idea is that taking up your cross is voluntary. Our circumstances are not "our cross" if they are things that we have no control over - serious illness, natural disaster. It's our response to life that is our cross. I can choose to focus only on myself and my desires or I can choose to follow Christ no matter what happens.
The cross-bearer chooses the way of love over self-centeredness.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I'm trying to take these spiritual disciplines to heart. The last 2 Sunday sermons have challenged me to incorporate these practices into my every day life. It's especially challenging when I have so many other things tugging at me.
Spiritual Disciplines that enable me to "sow to the Spirit" and not to my own flesh (Gal 6:7-10):
- Prayer: Ask for guidance; pray for myself and others; pray every day, not just when I feel like it
- Meditation: Listen to God's word; rehearse God's deeds; remember his works; put myself in a spot where I hear God's voice
- Study: A process more analytical than devotional; challenge and change the way I think
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Then I had a baby.
Now my network is expanding. I've received a handful of invitations recently from former colleagues. I've even sent out a couple of invitations.
This is fun. My biggest hangup is my ego. Everyone else has a title. My title is "mom". I just can't put something desperate like "domestic engineer". That just looks like I'm trying a little too hard. "Mom" is an important job - I just can't get over the fact that it looks a little lame on a business card. Like I said, my biggest hangup is my ego. My boys think I rock!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Good article in the St. Petersburg Times today about the split at NEPC - "Church heals from emotional split". Boy is that an understatement! Really praying that NEPC continues to thrive. Leaving there was a difficult decision, but the right one for our family right now. DW loves going to church with other kids his age. JW is happy in the nursery.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Here it is....
The Longest Walk
John wiped the sweat from his palms as he stepped onto the floor. This was it. His heart thundered in his ears. His mouth – a desert with no taste, no feel, just dust bereft of even a drop of water. He took another step. The crowd behind him grew restless. The buzz of barely suppressed laughter filled his ears, daring him to go further. There wasn't time to hesitate. He had to make a decision. He stepped forward.
Thinking back, it all appeared so effortless. He watched his companions take the floor, graceful in their movements. When the music and noise swelled it created a comfortable bubble from which to observe the proceedings. Then it was his turn. Faces turned toward him; some nodding in mirth; others shaking with pity for what was about to happen. Yet, he was prepared. He realized that he had been preparing all year for just this moment. Every sense was alert, ready to move forward. It was time.
The object of his dreams grew closer with every footfall. Then he stopped, frozen. John couldn't tell if it was the anticipation of the event to come or the fear of the ridicule he would meet if he turned back that mortified him the most. He was in no man's land now. He swallowed the urge to run away.
Halfway there. He couldn't turn back and admit failure. The only way out was forward. Doubt nagged at him, stalling his steps. Rejection would be the realization of his worst nightmare. Yet, the end might be sweeter than he had ever imagined. The journey's end might bring the fulfillment of all his dreams.
He looked up at the clock. Time was running out. He said a prayer. No matter what the outcome, he had faith that God would carry him through. A smile lifted the corners of his lips. His steps became lighter. Courage filled his heart as he closed in on destiny. The music faded and he heard his friends behind him, willing him on as the last song began. At the last dance of his Senior year in high school, John Palmer took a final bold step and held out his hand to the woman who would one day be his bride.
-”May I have this dance?”
-”I thought you'd never ask.”
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
So where did the time go?
- Graduate school
- Diaper changes
- Cooking and feeding
- Cleaning up afterward
- More diaper changes
- Going to the grocery store
- Going to storytime and the park as often as we can
- More diapers
- Giving birth
- Sleeping when I can
- Going out to buy more diapers
- Other duties "as assigned"
Monday, September 03, 2007
#1 son is almost 3 and #2 son is just over 7 months.
Now that my Master's program is finished and my children are sleeping (better) it's time to start back to blogging.