Monday, March 28, 2011

There's Hope for Us All!

   This week, in the Bible study I'm in, we're in the book of Judges.  I've been using my Kindle and the Message version to read for the study, "Adventuring Through the Bible" by Ray Stedman. 
   In his introduction to Judges in the Message, Eugene Peterson wrote :
   God, it turns out, does not require good people in order to do good work.  He can and does work with us in whatever moral and spiritual condition he finds us.  God, we are learning, does some of his best work using the most unlikely people.
   This has reminded me several times about how God loves us too much to leave us the way we are.  I've heard people say things like, "I've gone too far away to come back," or "When I can make myself better, I'll go to church."  No matter how far away we go, all we have to do is turn around and we're back.  No person can make themselves better.  Look at the disciples... they were pretty much a bunch of whiners and complainers, but God used them to spread the Gospel. 
    I don't think God is looking for a bunch of rigid, rule following robots. He takes us where we are with our flaws and failings and then, if we put our trust in Him and decide to live for Him, He'll change us from the inside out.
   In the book of Judges, the nation of Israel did okay when they had a judge to enforce the rules, but pretty much did what they wanted when they didn't have a king to rule them.  What they didn't realize was that they did have a king (just not an earthly one), but refuse to be subjects to Him. I'm so thankful that God, when we chose to accept His way, uses ordinary people to do extaordinaary things. Reminds me of this quote by Mother Teresa: "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Blog to Follow & New Book to Check Out!

Just learned about the blog "Always Faithful."  I'm planning on checking out some of the older posts. I had heard that Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Contemporary Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman, was writing a book.  I'm excited to know it's out and I have a chance to win a copy. Check out the contest at the link below!  

Faithful Always: Choosing to SEE: A Giveaway!

Faithful Always: Choosing to SEE: A Giveaway!: "Today, I am absolutely over the moon to announce a new giveaway. :) Trust me, your going to love it! Choosing to SEE By Ma..."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Creative Newsboys Tribute

I saw the following video on Facebook.  The Newsboys is one of my favorite bands.  Over the years, I've attended five of their concerts, with the most recent appearance at Winter Jam 2011.  The Lego video is very close to the live performance.  It is a very creative way to applaud one of Christian music's premier bands.  Enjoy!

Born Again (the unofficial lego video)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Last Day of Spring Break

   So, today is the last day of my Spring Break.  I really enjoyed going with my nephews and visiting the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Science Museum this week.  I think my favorite part, however, was this afternoon.  I went with M and his youth group on a local mission.  We met at the church and made over a hundred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  After instructions and a prayer, we loaded the bus and met up with another church.  In downtown, we added the sandwiches to the sacks containing chips and cookies.  The sacks, along with bottles of water and all of the extra sandwiches were quickly distributed.  I must say, I was so impressed with M's service.  He was quite proficient at putting the pb&j sandwiches in zipper bags.  I watched in awe as, instead of hanging back, he passed out the sacks and water to the homeless.  He didn't just stand and pass out the food; he grabbed a bag and water and walked to meet the people.  On the bus ride back to the church we had a chance to chat.  I shared some of my inner-city mission experiences with M.  He said he wants to do this again next month.  I'll be joining him. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blogging for Books

Okay, I confess...I haven't been great about updating my reading list in the last few weeks.  I'm still reading The Council of Dads,which isn't a light-hearted story.  I, along with my sister, have joined Blogging for Books, 
They send you a book to read and review.  You post your review on their site and you get to keep the book. I just finished posting my first review on Divine Appointments by Charlene Ann Baumbich.  Here is what I posted:
I chose this book to read because, like the main character Josie, I'm single and approaching "the big 5-0." I like my life and feel like I'm doing well.  Unlike Josie, I don't have the ability to "go where the money is" when tackling a job.  Divine Appointments gets the reader involved in the lives of the characters...the cantankerous mailroom guy, the kind office manager exibitiing her practical faith, the "bleeding-heart" boss who has a quiet inner strenght, and the strongly independent Josie. Taught to be strong and independent from an early age, Josie has grown into a successful "island" who begins to see the importance of relationships.  A mysterious snowglobe is a single thread woven throughout the plot that reveals the longing for connection and soul satisfying contentment. Everything may not always turn out wonderful in this book.  It mirrors the tought economic times of today; people loose their jobs.  Divine Appointments, although fiction, shows how God uses the big and small stuff of life as divine appointments to weave the fabric of our lives.