Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nuggets of Wisdom

     This morning at church, I picked up several nuggets of wisdom.  It started with the praise service.  After a few songs, our worship leader shared about one of the stories from The Story for Kids he and his wife are reading with their child.  In the creation story it was said that with all the incredible things God brought into being, He loved us best.  He would move Heaven and Earth to show us His Love.  I needed to hear that today.  It was reinforced when I read a quote posted on a friend's Facebook page.
   "God loves us as if there were only one of us." -St. Augustine.,
    Our pastor is going through a series called "The Story," which goes through the entire Bible looking at the Word on a human level (what happened) and on a God level (how His plans are carried out).  Usually, I copy one or two quotes down and make notes in my Bible besides the verses we're studying.  We were in II Kings, chapter 21 mostly, this morning. This is basically describing the kings...good(too few) and bad(several) and the effect they had on their people.  There were several nuggets I wrote down and want to share, so here it goes:
  • It's not age that will determine your fruitfulness, but your faithfulness that matters most!
  • The measure of a man in his last days can be more defining for his legacy than the miracles in his early days. (This was during our study of King Hezekiah, who although he started out following God, in his last years not so much) This resonated with another friend, who posted on Facebook: "Great service today...Gotta work on my legacy." Made me think of a well known evangelist who made it in the news for a not so good reason.
  • The discipline of God is a gift to us- not to get us back, but to get us back (to Him). I had to re-read that a couple of times.  Discipline is designed to bring us back to right relationship with God.
  • God will not call for us for Him until he calls us to Him.
  • You are not in control of your fruitfulness, but you can control your faithfulness. Our pastor mentioned Jeremiah.  We also studied Jeremiah in Bible study on Wednesday.  This reminded me of what we learned about Jeremiah not being called to be popular or prosperous.  God called Jeremiah to be obedient.
  • An African proverb: If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito. This was discussed as we saw some of the kings taking power at early ages.
Okay...I'm done.  I just wanted to share.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last Blog Post of 2011

   The last few months I haven't been so good about blogging.  I wanted to get at least one more post in before New Year's Day.  I'm actually planning on starting another blog in the coming year.  It will be called "Winna's Weekly Weigh-In."  In 2011, I reached my goal weight (thanks to Weight Watchers) and have become a Weight Watchers Leader.  I'm healthier than I've been in a long while.  In addition to sharing my story, the new blog will "weigh-in" on different topics each week.  You can look forward to seeing guest bloggers, too!
    I'll close the year with a story sent to me by a family member (Thanks, Aunt Julie!) a few days ago.  I'd never read it before, and when I finished it I thought, "How very true!'  Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Who’ll Take the Son?

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this." The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting.

The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh no sir, nothing could ever repay what your son did for me. It's a gift." The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a few months later.

There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice said angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the! Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!" But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?" Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10, who will bid $20?" "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10." A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over." "What about the paintings?" "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?" Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.