Thursday, March 29, 2007

RIGHT WHERE I'M SUPPOSED TO BE

Luke 17:24-28 (NAS)

"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist,"

To be honest, the last few months have felt like sheer uphill battle. I have been discouraged, I have been sad. I have been wondering what in the world is going on. This passage soothed my soul and brought me considerable peace. It feels good when you know you're in the palm of your Father's Hand and that nothing is surprising Him.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pledges

Is it ok to "pledge allegiance" to a flag or anything else for that matter? I work in our local Christian daycare center with 3-5 year olds. Everyday we say the pledge to the American Flag, the pledge to the Christian Flag, and the pledge to the Bible. Today one of the teachers was going to read the story of Jonah to the children from the Bible. She asked the kids if they knew the name of the book she was holding. One of our 5 year olds said, "that's the book we say the pledge to".

And then it started to bug me. Is it ok to teach our kids the pledges? I don't think in any way that the daycare center is out to brainwash our kids or to damage them. I think it's all done in innocence. But it just doesn't set right.

God tells us over and over to worship only Him--to follow only Him. But yet we are asking our kids to make a promise to inanimate objects that are not important. And while I understand it's the symbolism and the meaning that the object holds--isn't that the same as idol worship? I don't know.

I'm not going to demand that we stop encouraging the kids to say the pledges, it's just lately I've been trying to examine what I do and why I do it and this popped up today.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Baptism

Had an interesting conversation last night with our Tuesday Night Group about baptism. We went around and shared our stories of when & why we were baptized. The consensus of the group seemed to be that while it isn't necessary for salvation, baptism does mark a certain maturity in Christ. I don't know if I agree with this or not. I suppose I would say that it probably more marks a maturity in the Church instead of Christ. I question the necessity. Yes, Jesus did it, yes the apostles did it. Jesus even commands at the end of Matthew--to go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But is that to replace the baptizing by water that the Jews routinely did for purification? So Jesus is letting them know that instead of baptizing with water to purify yourself--now you may baptize with water in the name of God for once and for all. And did this make more sense to the Jews because of their history and their culture. As an analogy?

I also brought up that Jesus was baptized by John and while some think that this is the only time Jesus was baptized, I would disagree. Being a Jew, he would have been required by the law to "wash" to purify himself numerous times over the course of his life. In Matthew 3 when Jesus goes to John to be baptized, John was not doing the type of baptism we were thinking--or at least that's my understanding--he was doing the routine baptisms that all Jews must go through.

Interesting...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Evelyn

Last week a woman in my church, Evelyn, passed away. It was rather unexpected. She went in to have a stint put in her heart and while recovering had a heart attack and passed on. I didn't know Evelyn intimately. We didn't have long heart to hearts or share personal problems. But she definitely affected my life. She always had a kind word for me. She was an encourager to me. She made me remember why I long to do ministry. And now she's gone. I weep for her family and her friends and for me--for the loss of not having her here on earth. But to want her to return would only be selfish of me. Thanks Evelyn. I don't ever think I told you how much your kind words meant to me.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Five!

1. What do you like most: Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays (and why)?
Used to be Fridays because we would have a bunch of our friends come over and hang out and play games. But my hubby has to work Friday nights now and we haven't really figured out how to start up another evening like that. So I guess my fave night now would be Sundays because we just hang out at home with the family.

2. What was the best weekend of your life?
That is impossible to answer. I really have no idea. One weekend that sticks out to me is last April when we went with Josh's brother & wife to Lake of the Ozarks and hung out. It was relaxing and fun and non-stressful.

3. What weekend of the year is your favorite?
Probably my birthday weekend. Lately we haven't been able to do anything special because a kid has been sick or something has happened. But I love my birthday and celebrating with friends & family.

4. Do you have any weekend routines?
We always go to church on Sunday morning and in the afternoon we hang around and take naps etc and then in the evening we snack on whatever is in the cabinets or fridge and watch tv or a movie.

5. Describe your ideal Saturday night.
Hmm.. I don't know. I'm not one for routine, so I would rather have something different happen every Saturday night. I like surprises!