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Archive for July, 2011

Help, Daddy.

I was another one of those days…again.  You know, the days when Barbie’s hair gets sucked into the vaccuum, no one feels particularly like obeying and every time I turn arund there’s a brand new mess behind me.  Not to mention how living with my mother creates an unpresedented level of frustration to my life.  Everything is wrong.  
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The Highest Good

Reviewing the summer I can’t help but question my philosophy of “fun” with the kids.  It dawned on me last week that while I’ve been seeking to get the most out of our summer vacation that I’ve actually perhaps fallen into the trap of hedonism and pleasure seeking rather than seeking first the Kingdom of God both for myself and my children. 
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Psalm 1 evidences the contrast between a righteous man and an unrighteous man.  My next few blogs will deal with these characteristics.
 
Blessed is the man
         Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
         Nor stands in the path of sinners,
         Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
~Psalm 1:1
 
If a righteous man does not take advice from those who don’t know God, he does not go where they go or do what they do, how do we reconcile those attributes with Jesus, who is a friend of sinners?
 
The biggest difference I see between how Christ interacted with sinners and one who foolishly keeps bad company is that the sinners He taught came to Him and willingly followed, inviting Him into their lives, asking questions and learning from Him after interacting with Him initially.  Christ made himself avaliable, took the time for people who He met along the way of His daily life and kindly and gently told them the truth.
 
What I don’t see is Jesus running around trying to figure out where the Pharisees and prostitutes hung out so that he could find a way to bait them into believing him.  I don’t see Jesus holding hands with people who blatantly reject His truth or trying to fit in with a crowd that mocks Him.  (Ironically this is precisely what the modern church does in order to be ‘culturally relevant’)  To do so is to invite temptation and disobey the warnings of the Word of God.  ” Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” ~1Corinthians 15:33 Jesus didn’t follow sinners and conform to their likes and dislikes; sinners followed Jesus and conformed to His truth.
 
When we truly resemble Christ we will not have to search out or chase the lost desperately trying to find a way to relate to them, rather, they will recognize the truth we live and speak daily towards them and others and desire to know us just as sinners desired to know Christ after encountering Him.  Let us not foolishly keep bad company, but let us love all people whom the Lord puts in our path of opportunity.  My prayer today is for those divine opportunities.

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Last night at my inlaw’s house Addie, my four year old, caught a glimpse of Nanny’s garden and exclaimed, “Mommy! Look at those pumpkins!” To which I replied, “Those aren’t pumpkins, silly, those are tomatoes!  Tomatoes won’t get much bigger than that, but if they were pumpkins they’d grow much bigger.”  A few minutes later as I was slicing one of those ‘pumpkins’ Maylee, my two year old, said, “Mommy!  Gimme that apple!”  “Apples are much sweeter than tomatoes, May, but they do look alike.”  Apparently mom has dropped the ball on fruit and vegetable recognition somewhere along the way…
 
On the way home Addie was sitting on the opposite side of the backseat than she normally always does.  She said excitedly, “Mom, why are the clocks purple now?”  I realized she must never have sat on that side at night before and this was the first time she was seeing the odometer light up.  How different things can look from the other side, I thought.
 
Collecting those thoughts I sit wondering where the past few months have gone.  I confess that my writing hiatus has been largely due to laziness rather than necessity and is a direct result of a diligent prayer and study hiatus as well. 
 
If I had one excuse as to the reason for my lack it would be my chronic failing and spiritual downfall – lack of prayer.  Prayer is always difficult for me.  It’s not that I don’t pray, but if I had to describe my prayer life, it would be ‘too little, too late’ rather than ‘pray without ceasing.’
 
My girls have illustrated my prayer problem for me.  Right now my prayers are like a tomato…or maybe even a tomato sandwich, if you will – haphazardly slapped together and falling out of the bread into a big mess all over my plate.  I want to begin to see prayer and pray as Addie and Maylee saw that tomato – with hopeful expectation believing it will grow much bigger and taste much sweeter than it is right now.  I need to see prayer as a pumpkin; an apple – bigger and sweeter.
 
  So…I’m embarking on a journey throught the psalms to examine the prayer life of my spiritual ancestors and I’m hoping that by the end I’ll have moved over far enough to see the purple clocks light up; far enough to see how differently things look from where my Lord is sitting.
 
 When You said, “Seek My face,”
         My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”~Psalm 27:8

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLAg2NDcOt4

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#185 sits in the shade after the race.  She was assigned that number and will soon be told her place – both of which differ from all the others.  She waits as her time started much earlier than others who are still running. She takes note of hte beauty all around and wishes her family could have been there.  The race directors speak of putting your ‘faith in action’ and she thinks about how she might do that in the coming week.  She contemplates how the race reminds her of a Christian life…
Though she chose to enter the race, numerous factors beyond her control enabled her to do so well before she even considered it.  She was given everything necessary for eligibility, which, in turn, caused her to have interest in such an activity.  She was assigned a time to start, a group to perform alongside and a place to be.  When she finished and enjoyed the shade and beauty of the park, she wished everyone she knew to be there.  Though she sent an entry form, prepared for the race, sweat in the sun and competed to the end, she could do none of it had she not been given the ability and desire to do so from her Lord. 
 #185 did not chose to be an athlete apart from the grace of God anymore than she chose to be a Christian apart from the grace of God.  I’m thankful today for that grace.  I would choose nothing good apart from it. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWeb79W8EqQ

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