Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Theme: Run from Sin
Bible Verses: But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (1 Tim 6:11)
Materials Used: bowl, water, pepper or glitter, liquid dish soap;
Lesson: There is a time to stay and fight, but there is also a time to flee. As Christians, we are told to flee from sin. We need to stay as far away from temptation as possible. As it says in our verse, there are also things we should pursue like righteousness, godliness and faith.
Illustration: We filled the bowl with water. Once the water was still, we sprinkled glitter over the surface. The glitter is to represent a believer. Next we touched the dish soap and then placed our finger in the middle of the bowl. The soap represents an evil influence. The glitter immediately flees from the soap just like a believer should flee from sin.
This is one experiment that my kids have always had a blast doing! They love the glitter and its fun since they can do all of it themselves.
We finished the missionary story we've been covering for the last month. We've been doing parts of a story about a girl named Star. Amy Carmicael actually was the missionary that told her about Christ. Though my kids do like the story, they have trouble sitting still. So, the last couple weeks, I've allowed them to get comfortable anyway they want on the chairs before the story. As you can see in the pictures, their favorite possition is sitting backwards on their chairs!
We also finished taking our books of the Old Testament pictures. Now I've got to start cropping them and changing them into the picture I'll print for the kids. I need to crop the background out of the picture, add words and add the other pictures to them to illustrate what they're acting out.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I'm still doing summary/paraphrases of verses in James. Today's verses are perfect for me who wants to have the rest of my life figured out right now:
James 4:13-16: Pay attention you planners who think you know what you'll be doing for years. You don't even know what will occur tomorrow! Your life is like a mist that disappears. You should say, if it's God's will, we will live and do this or that thing. The way you're doing it, you are evil in boasting and bragging. If you know the good you ought to do and don't do it, you are sinning.
I guess these verses are really a comfort. We don't have to know the end from the beginning because we know the One who is both the beginning and the end!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
More later - now it's time for some sleep!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Some of the group are already there and in just a few hours I will be as well!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I KNOW WHO I AM
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord(1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price(1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt.5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ(1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God(2 Cor.5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God(Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor.1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship(Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1: 6)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child(Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
who you are!?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
Proper conduct and walk always comes with genuine faith. Can Christians have bitter envy and self seeking in their hearts? Yes, it is part of the flesh, but blessing should come from us, not envy and self-seeking.
We can not be genuinely happy for someone else's prosperity in our flesh, only with God's help. Our goal in all we do should be God's glory, not our own advantage.
15Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
Confusion and every evil thing come with envy and self-seeking.
Self seeking and envious people are plotters and pre-meditated - they bring every evil thing into the body. We must be careful with our motives and thought lives. Envy and self-seeking people are earthly, unspiritual and demonic. We can be dangerous people to either Satan's people or to the church.
When your life is about what you want, confusion and every evil thing is there. You will have the potential to do great harm to the body of Christ. Most Christians are deceiving themselves by denying their own envy and self-seeking motives.
How can I serve Jesus? Serve your brothers and sisters in the Church.
17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Sometimes we will have problems with each other. But mature Christians will sown peace through righteousness (Ro 14:19).
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Teachers will receive the greater judgement and are held to a more strict standard because they are telling people what God's word says and means.
3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
The Psalm 127:2 verse is not the test of whether or not God loves you. For those of you who read World magazine (as I do), you will no doubt immediately think of Andree Seu's article from October 6th called "Confessions of an insomniac." We have many other passages that speak of God's love for us. We know so many facts about God: that he answers prayer, that he loves us, that he guides us, that he can be trusted. So, when you do get rest, thank God. And when you don't get the rest you need, trust God's affection anyways.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
I just took the survey and though I don't know for sure if I answered the questions accurately, I kind of agree with the assessment. Click below to see the description of Career Directs' assessment of me as an Analyzer.
What do you think? Does this really describe me?
Camping is all about resting - right? Well, maybe not. Usually I'm playing too many games to take much of a break. But when you finally sit down or go to sleep, it feels so good! If you are tired (and if you don't have little kids that must be watched), you could make your weekend one of rest and relaxation over conversations with friends. There's nothing like just lazing around and looking at the sky!
It's fun to see the tent city spring up each time as people arrive on Friday. There's tents, cars and people everywhere, and it takes a little time to get used to which tent belongs to each family and who your neighbors are. It's amazing to see the huge variety of tents in our microscopic city. Admiring the newest tents and taking a tour (like an open house!) is fun to do.
Usually sometime during the weekend we do take a hike. At Four Toulouse (where we'll be next week!), the hike out to the point where "the Tallapoosa and the Coosa make the Alabama" seems shorter each year. I suppose that might have something to do with all the walking I do in the mornings. Sitting around the campfire in the cool evenings eating s'mores is a must! At this point in time, the weather forecast is for highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s with a 30-60% chance of rain. I hope the rain changes move out a few days.
Not too much longer and camping time will be here!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We have been (past tense) crucified with Christ. It's done once, not over and over (Gal 2:20).
You may ask, if that's true, why do we still struggle? It's because we still have flesh. Why do we have to deal with flesh if it's put to death? The old man was put to death in our life, but our own flesh still exits.
An parallel of how this works would be if a car manufacturing plant was destroyed, there would still be cars made in that plan driving around on the roads.
Gal 5:17-21. The flesh and spirit are in opposition. We cannot do what we please. We can use the term self-life to describe the flesh. We like to rule over our own self life, but we're to lay it down before God.
We try to satisfy with self-indulgence like eating, spending money, etc, but only Jesus can satisfy our desires.
We try self-seeking, self-glorification and self confidence, but can we be confident in anything in our flesh?
We try self pity, complacency, self-consciousness, or thinking you're not good enough or smart enough. There is just as much pride in walking in self-condemnation as self-glory.
We are to recognize (reckon) that we are dead to so. It's not that we die daily, but that we recognize it. We don't have to walk in the flesh. Gal 3:13 - Without Christ's death, there would be no deliverance since we would still be under the law.
Ro. 6:6-7 - we are free from our flesh. Nothing good dwells in our flesh. We must recognize it's dead and realize we are free.
The pictures in this post are from the small groups. I enjoyed being in a small group with people from my church. Other conferences such as New Attitude and Urbana also had small groups. The difference there is that you will probably never see the people in your small group again. Being in a small group with friends is cool since we already understood a lot of where we were coming from and I think were more able to encourage one another.
Lesson: Uncontrolled tempers often bring improper words and actions. The result may be bad decisions and broken friendships. Usually the result is worse than the problem that caused the temper tantrum in the first place. The Bible tells us how a hot-tempered person doesn’t easily learn patience, but repeats the same error again and again. The cure to a temper problem is also found in the Bible. Proverbs 15:1 says that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”.
Illustration: We illustrated an uncontrolled temper by seeing pressure build up inside a bottle. Pour a cup of vinegar into the bottle. Add a table spoons of baking soda (wrap in a piece of tissue to give you extra time). As the paper moistens, bubbling will start. The reaction between baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide gas. Watch the cork burst out at an unpredictable time just like people’s tempers.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
On Saturday morning, Mary Heather continued the theme by speaking more about suffering. We read Matthew 26 beginning in verse 36 about Jesus in Gethsemane praying alone while his disciples slept. We learned that:
Because God wants our holiness even more than our happiness, we need to change our right to happiness to a right to holiness
We are not put here to get from God, we're not spiritual consumers. God may have suffering in store for us. We are here to serve and glorify God
Suffering has the ability to make us holy. We have the choice though of anger and bitterness instead, but let God move you from anger to embrace suffering (Phil 3:10). To know Christ, there are seasons of suffering.
God wants us to look like him, not like unbelievers. So, God uses all things for our good (which is for our holiness) Ro. 8:28
Suffering is a place of loneliness (Matt 26:40). It's an OK place to be. God tells us to make Him our husband, that he will satisfy us in our suffering (Psalm 142). We do need the church body. It's not that we're to always keep our suffering to ourselves, but lower your expectations of people. They don't know what you're going through, especially if you don't tell them . God can satisfy you in suffering.
Jesus has experienced that utter loneliness. Withhold judgement on someone elses suffering. Speak carefully to that person so you don't become like Job's friends and increase their suffering.
Suffering can come from loss or physical death or even the death of a dream.
Ps 34: I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise will always be on my lips. Mourning is a part of suffering and we must go through it for as long as it takes (Eccl 3)
If you are suffering and you know that you have sinned, repent and move on. If you don't think it is due to sin, don't entertain Satan's accusations, wait on God.
In your suffering, make it your goal to know Him (Phil 3:10)
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean it.
FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.
SIX.. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
**Editorial note added 1/6/08. As my friend John told me today, I ought to be a woman of my word. It's something that I indeed want to be! In order not to confuse people who think that I believe and go by everything written in this post, I would like to state plainly that I don't really think it's important to be engaged for at least six months before getting married. I think that shorter engagements (of 3 or 4 months) might be a better option. Now, I don't know for sure since I haven't gone through a wedding yet. I've heard of people being engaged for over two years and maybe it's not a bad idea for some folks. But, I just want to plainly say that not only do I not agree 100% with that statement, but I am not completely sure what the ideal length of time to be engaged is! - Oh, I'm also not sure I believe in love at first sight either. I think true love is much deeper than looks.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
FIFTEEN. Say "God bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson .
SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice .
TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I drove to Lake Martin with Tammy. I enjoyed the time to catch up on her life. Its fun to have the time to chat about the many aspects of life that she is going through as her kids get older. Hearing dreams and learning more about where people have been and desires they have for the future is neat. We enjoyed the short drive and got there in time to relax for a little bit before the first session entitled "Getting God."
Mary Heather was our speaker. She's an awesome mother of 9 kids who I've known for many many years. She had an American Girl doll club at here house while I was in high school which I helped out at since my sisters went to it one summer. Her family attends our church and I've gotten to know some of her children through AWANA and Sunday School classes there. Mary Heather teaches the ladies Sunday school class. Though I've never gone to the class, I've heard from others that it's an awesome class. For the first session, she spoke about some of the things that keep us from God: Wrong ideas about God, sin, the flesh, unforgiveness and self-centeredness.
She illustrated how sin and our reaction to sin can vary so drastically and have terrible consequences by having us look at the lives of both Saul and David. Both men sinned: Saul offered a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel (1 Sam 15) and David sinned through adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11).
They both sinned, yet Saul responded by blaming the people and claiming to be doing what God said. Saul was so self centered that he even blamed Samuel for being the cause of his sin because he did not show up in time to make the sacrifice. Only when Saul heard that God had rejected him as king did Saul seem to maybe repent. Even then, it seems like he was only repenting for show, so that Samuel would honor him in front of the people.
David's reaction couldn't have been different. I look at David's sin and would tend to even consider it to be worse, yet through David's response, God forgave him. David immediately acknowledged that he had sinned against God. He didn't blame anyone else, but turned to God. The other example of David had to do with his desire to build a temple for God. He had the idea, yet it wasn't God's idea for David to do. Instead of being upset that God didn't want to honor him that way, David responds with humility and thanks God for his promise to establish David's kingdom forever.
Saul was self-centered, but David was God focused. Saul didn't want to wait on God's time-table, but David was glad to allow his son to have the honor of building the temple.
Which one more represents who you are?
After that session, we enjoyed refreshments and then Marilyn led us in some of her family's "crazy group games!" The pictures of Bibity Bibity Bop were a lot of fun to take as people had to think fast to act like an elephant, rabbit, or kamikaze. There was laughter all around as we tried to think quick and act crazy! Eventually the group game broke up and ten of us went to the cabin where we continued playing games until about midnight. We played a fun game of Taboo. It's amazing how quickly some words are gotten! Sometimes brains are linked in a crazy way. Soon it was time to get some sleep (as it is now!).
Friday, October 5, 2007
Two weeks from today and we'll be camping! If you are camping with our group, you will probably be playing a lot of games. One of our group favorites is volleyball. Volleyball is a game that works well for a group that may keep changing as the game continues. Often we have a huge age range playing together. Usually there are a few children still learning to serve or to hit the ball. There is friendly competition as well as mercy for those who are still beginners.
We played night volleyball last time with a very hard battery lit up ball. Today, I found another cool volleyball that we will get to try out. It's lit by 4 glow sticks! So we won't have to mess with batteries. So, be ready for volleyball both day and night!
Groups of children always seem to have a game of Red Rover or tag in process. It's amazing that with all the games that are played, arguments or poor sportsmanship are very rare. It seems that everyone is just glad to be there having fun with one another.
Of course you can't run all day long. So, before too much time goes by, the cards come out. We play everything from Dutch Blitz to Phase 10 to spoons. We love to learn new games when camping and always have a great time teaching games to others. When you play games as a family, you get a little too used to each others strategy. Camping brings new people and new ideas to the games (not to mention new surroundings)!
This weekend I'm going to be at a Ladies Retreat with my church. So, the time is going to fly by and pretty soon the weeks will have passed, and we'll be camping once again!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Is there any benefit to a person saying he has faith if he can't show it by his deeds? Is it possible for such a faith to save him? If you see someone without clothes or food and simply wish him the best, but do nothing to help - is it of any use? In that way, faith without actions is dead.
A person could say one person has faith, another deeds. Try to show your faith without deeds and I'll show you my faith by my deeds. Just as belief in one God is not sufficient for salvation (as proved by the demons), faith without deeds is pointless.
Foolish people! Would you like proof that faith without works is of no value? Look at Abraham. He is considered by us righteous because of his deed of offering Isaac on the alter. So his faith was made complete by his action. Abraham's belief was proved his action and so he was given righteousness because of his belief, and even called God's friend. Similarly, even Rahab was considered righteous for hiding the spies. Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.