Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Well, Monday when I got to work, Angie had bought something for me over the weekend! She Rummages also and found this brand new round mirror for me! The best part is that it's a Wisconsin Badgers mirror! =-) It is so cool!! I proudly sat it on my desk (as you can see in the pic below), and it has been there ever since! Angie ROCKS! I think she's pretty fond of me too! :)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
This article served as a great reminder to me that regardless of what society believes, my worth and identity come from Jesus and not from my marital (or lack thereof) status! I'm only human, so I often struggle with believing this deep down in my soul, but the Author makes some excellent points in this article! Christ lives in me, and therefore I am complete. He says so! :)
Complete as One
By Fern Horst
Taken from the Purposeful Singleness website
I had someone tell me, just the other day, that one is not complete without a spouse. It made me wonder: How do I, and other single adults, gain a sense of confidence and self-worth in a society that believes such a statement to be true?
Many people believe they cannot truly live until they find their significant other. They are unable to believe in themselves until they find partners who believe in them. Some people do not feel they have worth until they find someone to give them a sense of worth. And there are many who gain confidence from a dating or marriage relationship. But is this the only way, or, more importantly, the best way, to find oneself?
This type of belief systems indicates a dependency on something or someone other than God. Any time we look to anyone or anything other than God to give us meaning, to meet our needs, we are creating an idol. We are allowing something or someone to take God's place in our lives. This is serious business to God. Idolization is adultery to Him; it hurts Him as much as we hurt when friends betray their loyalty to us. He wants to have that place in our lives. He will give us more meaning and worth and acceptance than any "significant other" ever could.
Both Christ and the Apostle Paul taught in the Bible that remaining dependent on God is easier when one is single. When one is married, it is easy to put one's spouse in God's place, to expect him or her to meet the needs that only God can fill. Marriage does not legitimize idolization. God still wants His rightful place in our hearts regardless of our marital status.
Should we avoid marriage then? Of course not! God calls some to serve Him in a marriage relationship. He chooses to meet some people's needs through marriage. But not all. For some He chooses to meet needs through a variety of people. God wants some of us to be single so that we can serve Him in ways those who are married cannot.
But we can be sure that God will meet everyone's needs, married or single. We can also be sure that God wants all of us to commit our lives to Him, married or single. Singleness is not an excuse to live our lives for ourselves, or to sit around waiting for life to happen. It is happening, and we are each responsible to take what opportunities God has given us and use them to their fullest advantage.
Yes, I'm complete. You're complete. And it has nothing to do with whether or not we're married. It has everything to do with the fact that Christ lives in us and with Him we are not only complete, we have everything we need to live the life of a fulfilled, successful adult.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I took advantage of the beautiful weather we had today! I grabbed a Chili Cheese Dog and fries at "Waka Dog" and walked down to the River here in Downtown Mishawaka. I had a really nice and peaceful walk, plus I got some much needed exercise! See the condos in the first pic? I want to own one of those someday! Hey, if I win the lottery, it could happen! :) They are new right now, and are located right along the River. They are also only a few blocks from work! I love this weather! Warm and sunny with beautiful blue skies, what could be better than this?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
How to hear God
Ironically, though, most of the time we think of prayer as talking to God, rarely stopping to wonder whether God might want to talk to us. You can almost sense God saying, If we enjoy a relationship, why are you the one doing all the talking? Let me get a word in somewhere.
The importance of listening:
People who are really interested in hearing from God must pay a price: they must discipline themselves to be still before God. This is not an easy task, but it is essential. Be still, and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).
God's power is available to you when you come to Him in solitude, when you learn how to focus and center your heart, and be quiet before Him. Then you find that His leadings come through to you clearly, with little interference.
Set aside a half-hour each day (preferably in the morning) and be still with God. Use the time to reflect on the previous day, write out your prayers, and invite the Lord to speak to you.
Custom-design an approach that will still your racing mind and body, soften your heart, and enable you to hear God's voice. If journals aren't your thing, try talking quietly to God, then have a period of listening.
Ask God questions.
What's the next step in developing my character?
At what educational goals should I aim?
What's the next step in my ministry?
What's the next step in my vocation?
In what direction should my dating relationship go?
What should I do for my children?
How should I plan my giving?
Keep your ears tuned to Him each day.
You don't need to feel upset if sometimes God chooses to remain silent. He's a living Being, not an answering machine, and He speaks when He has something to say. If we aren't willing to follow up on the Holy Spirit's leading, He may see no reason to continue speaking.
Usually the reason we don't hear His voice is that we don't listen for it. We don't schedule times of stillness that make communication possible. Turn off the TV, radio, CD player, and formally invite Him to speak to you.
How can you be sure that a leading is truly from God?
All leadings that come from God are consistent with God's Word, the Bible. The surest way to test the source of a leading is to check it against Scriptures. God's leadings are usually consistent with the person He made you to be. God is purposeful; He wants to use you in the areas of the gifts and talents He gave you.
God's leadings usually involve servanthood rather than being self-serving. He will call you to humble yourself, serve somebody, encourage somebody, or give something away.
From How to Hear God by Bill Hybels, copyright (c) 1988, 1998, 1999. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill. Bill Hybels is pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill. Inspiration Archive Monday, March 13, 2000
I honestly had never heard of sitting STILL in God's presence until I met with Kathy Guy. Thank you Kathy! I have tried it a few times, but really need to get back into it; just setting a time aside to sit in His presence and Be Still. No wonder I'm basing my worth and identity on my job status and what I think others think of me! How can I base my identity on the REAL THING, if I'm not being grounded in His Word and sitting STILL in His presence? Coming across this article tonight was a total God thing! :) I'm setting up an Appointment for tomorrow morning to spend time with the One who created me, loves me, and knows me inside & out!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Ok here's the last post I'll do regarding Steven Curtis Chapman and family, well at least for a while! :) Here is the song with the extra verse (mentioned in my previous blog) he added at the end of the song. He is performing at a concert in July in this video. His daughter Maria Sue passed away in May. If you don't have time to watch the whole video, you can scroll to the end to hear the last verse.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This morning we talked about the Discipline of Simplicity. The Discipline of Simplicity is "An overall attitude of contentment and gratitude manifested in a visible way of living that includes not trying to do too much or have too much."
I struggle a lot with comparing myself to others and not feeling like I measure up. I mean I'm 34 years old and I'm renting a bedroom of a house! Many people my age own homes and are far better off financially than I am. There's a measure of being hard on myself, but if I'm completely honest, there's also a measure of envy for what other's have that I don't have. Even though I'm making much better financial choices now, it's still very hard making it on one income and doing it all alone with no other person or income (or credit card) to rely on for financial help and security. It's hard for me to picture even being able to afford to live alone again, let alone to purchase a condo or a house someday. Plus, I sold most of my furniture when I moved from an Apartment to a bedroom. Ok, so that's my glass half empty version. I'm working really hard on being "REAL". So there you have it, this is me being REAL with what I struggle with sometimes.
"It takes purposeful training to keep our focus on all that we do have, to affirm that our glass is more than half full." Valerie Hess
Valerie nails it on the head in the above quote! She suggests keeping a written list of all of our blessings and looking at it regularly. The Apostle Paul also nails it on the head in Philippians 4:12: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
My glass truly is half FULL and I am truly BLESSED! Here are just a few of the reasons why (in no particular order):
- I have plenty of food to eat
- I have a bed to sleep in which is in a house with ac/heat (depending on the season)!
- I have a job with a stable income
- I have wonderful family
- I have many wonderful friends
- I love my roommates
- My roommates love me
- This house is so homey and I am blessed to have found this living situation - I don't think there's anywhere else I'd rather be living right now!
- I live 6 blocks from where I work
- I love living in community with other Christian women
- I am in good health
- My nephew's open heart surgery (b/c of God of course!) saved his life last September
- My Mom is currently cancer free
- I have health insurance
- I have a great Church where I am loved and am constantly learning about Boundaries and changing my unhealthy habits and old ways of thinking, and learning to take responsibility for my life
- Most importantly: I am saved by grace through faith and God loves me unconditionally, even when I fall back into my "playing the victim mentality"
My cup is OVERFLOWING and Jesus knows what I need better than I do! =-)
"My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
What about you? Is your glass half empty or half full?