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Showing posts from August, 2008

Something to Think About

Suddenly I find myself dripping with sorrow. I feel torrents of grief and despair threatening to break through my pitiful levies of faith. And yet, absolutely nothing is wrong. At first I felt like I was a vector for unpleasantness. Now I feel... unsettled?.... depress....? crazy.....? faithless? Yes, that's it. I feel faithless.

I am reading Thomas Watson's "All Things for Good." Watson is one of my favorite Puritan authors. I read this line this morning and I have been thinking about ever since, "Dejection in the godly arises from a double spring: either because their inward comforts are darkened our their outward comforts are disturbed."

Character Flaws, Sin and Remediation

I have been thinking about my last post in which I offered to talk about how having a job has shown or magnified my character flaws. Before I do though, I want to distinguish between character flaws and sin. My character flaws predispose me to sin in certain areas more readily than in others. Indulging in my character flaws is sinful. Entertaining the idea of indulging my character flaws is sinful. They are the weaknesses in me where my flesh makes itself known by screaming, "You know you want to!!"

Too often I hear Christians lamenting that they "make mistakes" or are victims of their genetic make-up and intimate that they should, therefore, be excused from culpability for being prone to certain activities. Our cultural dependence on a medical model to define our behavior has given many what they see as a plausible excuse for sin. I don't see that caveat in the Word. For Christians, the Word is always our standard. It is the standard by which all will be j…

Taking Inventory

Now that I have a job and interact with folks at least 5 days a week, I am noticing things about myself. It's sort of amazing what having to share space and time with people who really don't give a rip about you beyond the courtesies exchanged among employees will show you. It's also enlightening to see how I can care about touching the lives of people I will never see and how some of the folks that call me I don't much care about at all. All based on some gut level reaction that happens over some fiber optic cables.

I am very fortunate that I work with a great group of people. They don't really know me let alone love me, but they tolerate me well enough. There are a few rough spots. I hear the complaints one worker has with another worker and once the person who took me into their confidence goes on to the next cubicle, I know it is something that I have done incorrectly or a question I have asked on a procedure that is being ridiculed. I have also noticed that…

Finding Humor in Discombobulation

I jumped with a both feet from my Psalm 139 day into a day of ambivalence and deep thoughts that go nowhere. I would say it was a day of sheer profundity but I never quite got to the profound part. When you feel strongly both ways about something you generally spin your wheels and get nowhere. I visited nowhere a lot today.

I wish I could tell you the nature of my dilemma. Truth is, I am not in quandary over anything in particular. Today just seems to feel like I am taking a multiple-guess test for which I have not studied. I could speculate that yesterday was preparation for today but I don't feel prepared at all. I keep telling myself feelings lie and I must live in what is, not what might have been, or could be if I would just connect the dots appropriately. I need someone to number the dots so I can connect them and see the picture. Remember those from when you were a kid? I hated those things, they were lame. Anyway, back to me. I am thoroughly discombobulated and in desp…

A Psalm 139 Kind of Day

Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?

Ever have a day where everywhere you turn you are bumping into reminders of God's providence? Of His mercy? His steadfast faithfulness? Ever have a series of events remind you who has paid the mortgage on your soul? Not only that but the circumstances that remind you can hardly be called serendipitous. It's providence and you know it. All the dots connect in a way that can only lead you to shout, "Coincidence, Thy Name is God!"

Yesterday was just such a day for me. Each blog I read, each book I picked up, each chore I attempted, each song I heard on the radio... all of them, the entire lot spoke to my heart in such a way that my soul could not ignore the messages God was sending me. His faithfulness to me is not in any way dependent upon my ability to worship Him properly. There are no contingencies. I can do nothing to provoke a favorable response from God. God will always act in accordance with h…

Thoughts on Civil Forum

Thanks to a blog I found, I was finally able to sit and watch the entirety of the Civil Forum held at Saddleback Church. In my previous post titled, "Out of Touch" I questioned who elected Pastor Rick Warren to speak for Evangelicals. Frankly, that opinion hasn't changed. And while I still think his "Purpose Driven" philosophy is entirely too man-centered. I think he did a great job in posing questions to Senators Obama and McCain. (Obama won my coin toss to see whose name would type first this time.)

The questions were indicative of the issues being faced by the general public. Warren posed them fairly and without bias. He is an affable fellow and offers a quick laugh and smile that surely would land him on the top of your list for favorite dinner guests. It did appear that he genuinely likes both the presidential hopefuls, but he seems the sort that appears to genuinely like everyone.

While we are speaking of being genuine, I genuinely hope that Warren will hol…

Words of Wisdom on Words

I know I tell you all that I love my church. I am such a blessed woman to have been placed in such a fellowship. I also know that a lot of my posts have to do about the importance of words. Scott, a younger man and associate pastor at my church, preached an outstanding sermon on why words matter. Scott's heart is first and foremost for his God and Savior, which makes him wise beyond his years. I recommend his sermon wholeheartedly.

As a completely random side note, it's sort of fun to be able to refer to a pastor as a 'younger man.' I sometimes think being in my 50's is going to be the most empowering time of my life. Of course, I am hoping I get to say the same thing about my 60's.

Out of Touch

Training is over and our new office opens on Monday. My schedule will be changing and I am hoping it will soon change again to allow me to attend church on Sundays. I am grateful that sermons from my church are available on-line and I will still get to hear the sermons and learn from the pastors. I really hope that my work schedule changes quickly.

Working certainly has kept me out of touch. Once I am more confident in my abilities there and I have settled into my schedule I am hoping I will be able to catch up with things. I am missing a lot now and while I don't want my hours of boredom back, I would like to stay current with events. Imagine my surprise to start reading online this morning and finding that Rick Warren will be interviewing presidential hopefuls, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. (I flipped a coin just like Warren to see whose name I would type first.)

OK, I just have to say it. When did Rick Warren become the spokesperson for "Evangelicals?" …

This Just In.......

I passed the test that I have been studying for- thanks be to God! I am grateful for those of you who prayed for me. I passed the test by the grace of God and the skin of my teeth. Your prayers for me were the difference, I know it. I am sitting here sipping Pellegrino in celebration.

In the midst of my elation I am also on the ragged edge- but not in a bad way. I have so many things going on in my life just now that I am in a constant state of kinetic energy. Ever been like that? Sort of worn out and frazzled, but in a good way. If I lose my balance at all, stuff may come crashing to the floor but for the nonce, it's all good.

God's timing, because it is always perfect, never ceases to amaze me. My sister's life is full of taking care of her dad. I know she has been very mindful that I had hours of free time that were threatening to choke the life out of me as they morphed into hours of boredom and self-pity. She doesn't have to worry about me and can focus on her dad. …

Two More Noteworthy T's

A couple nights ago I had the opportunity to check in with my buddy, Carla. This working for a living thing that I am doing now is getting in the way of my time on-line with some wonderful friends. Carla is a cyber-sibling extraordinaire! I have told you all before that she is one of those Proverbs 31 types; wife, mom to seven, grandmother to one, homeschooler, blogger, webmaster, businesswoman, author...... getting the picture? The only thing the Proverbs 31 woman had over on Carla was some servants to get the housework done.

In the midst of her other official roles Carla has been doing things like encouraging me to write. Ok, so she isn't perfect! She's getting there! She has also been a good sounding board. We share struggles. She and I are very different women. I am more of a Proverbs 32 woman who accomplishes very little and gripes about it a lot. We have had some similar difficult experiences and so we share some common struggles. It is really a gift when God gives you so…

Investing Your T's

In my previous post on the 5 T's; Time, Talk, Trust, Transparency and Touch, I intimated that they could strengthen or destroy relationships. I want to clarify what I mean by that statement. Investing your 5 T's in the right relationships will strengthen them. Investing your 5T's in the wrong relationships will destroy or weaken your right relationships.

Our time here is finite. As believers we have an infinite time to spend in the presence of our God, worshiping and adoring Him but we have no assurance that we will be able to spend our eternity in fellowship with those we love whenever we want to. Sure, our saved loved ones will be in heaven with us, but who says they will want to spend time with us when they can be worshiping Jesus and spending time in His presence? Whatever fellowship we have with one another in heaven will be sweet, but it pales in comparison to being in fellowship with our Lord and our God.

So, with our limited resources of T's we must invest…

When Real Life Happens

Today at my new job a woman came back from a break distraught. Someone asked her if she was OK and her response took my breath away. "My 24 year old son has just been diagnosed with cancer. No, I am not OK." The woman next to her reached over and hugged her and another woman asked, "Is there anything I can do?" Between sobs the woman said, "Can you give him a body without cancer? He has no job and no insurance, can you give him that?"

The woman who offered the hug before just held her tighter and tears silently streamed down her cheeks. One mom to another, one grandmother to another they just cried. I was across the room and suddenly wanted to hug her too, but kept my seat because I knew she was barely hanging on and too much kindness would undo her. She still had to face the day and drive home. So I did my crying for her tonight and I will pray for her and her son.

Words are important but sometimes crying with someone is better than words. I wanted to t…

5 Terrible T's

The very best thing about us is often the very worst thing about us, depending on how we apply it. My tenacity is stubbornness when misapplied. The gift of helps can label you a godsend or be seen as the gift of enablement or 'buttinski' if you employ it on your own terms. We are capable of the very best and the very worst all at once. When it comes to relationships there are five things that will help you build or destroy those you love. I call them the Terrible T's. There are 5 T's that will strengthen relationships or lead to the big T of Temptation.

Time. Our first T begins when we start sharing our time with others. We all share time with people. We share time with our co-workers, our grocery store cashiers, the people who do our hair, the dentist, doctor, family... you share time with many folks and in many ways. Sharing time with someone is not a bad or evil thing, in fact it can be a wonderful blessing. The more time you spend with someone the more likely you wi…