Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wonderful Gifts

Our pastor at church gave us a bible study guide a few months back when we asked him for one for couples. It is a Masterwork guide for the Spring 2010 featuring lessons from "He Chose The Nails" by Max Lucado and "Desiring God" by John Piper. We had put it away on our bookcase because we didn't think that is what we were looking for. Well, while cleaning our room a few weeks ago I came across it again and tonight I decided to start it by myself. "He Chose The Nails" is the first lessons in this guide. I like this guide because the publisher has broken it down by day. So here is what hit me tonight.

On day one it is labels "His Love" and the topice is You Did This For Me? Now when I think about what Christ endured during his crucifixion I think of the cross. The cross is the main symbol of what people see as God's gift to us during that time since that is where Jesus died at. Now, I have just barely scratched the surface of this guide and I am already getting a lot out of it. God didn't just give us the cross, He also gave us the nails, the crown of thorns, gaments taken by the soldiers... the list really does go on and on. The power of the cross is amazing in of itself but when we think about all the rest of the things that Jesus had to go through, those gifts are also amazing!

Thank you God for the gifts that you gave to us, for it is those gifts is the reason that we are saved!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Love Chapter

Well, I am sure most of you who are Christian know what I am talking about when I mention the love chapter: 1 Corintians 13. It really has some pretty deep stuff in there. Part of this chapter is included in many, MANY peoples vows of marriage, myself included. Here's the part that is usually included:

"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails..."

So that is the background passage. I was in my small group study last night and we were getting pretty deep into this week chapter. A lot of progress was made in opening up our minds to other people thoughts. This passage wasn't even part of our lesson but the instructor closed with this. He said that this passage alone is said so often at weddings but often it means nothing to those saying it. He said that what we needed to do is replace the word "love" with "your name" and then recite it to our loved ones. It will really change the way you see yourself and it will really change the way your spouse sees you. So here is my passage to my husband, James:

4 Dawn is patient, Dawn is kind. Dawn will not envy, Dawn does not boast, Dawn is not proud. 5 Dawn does not dishonor others, Dawn is not self-seeking, Dawn is not easily angered, Dawn keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Dawn does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 Dawn always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Dawn never fails...

Talk about some deep DEEP stuff. So I am breaking this down even further for myself into each seperate promise. Because that is what these are, promises.

Dawn is patient= A hard one for me as seen in some of my previous blogs. But I am going to work harder on this.

Dawn is kind= I think that I am a pretty kind person but I know I can do better.

Dawn will not envy= I have never been an envious person so this one is easy for me.

Dawn does not boast=This one can be hard to do but I will check myself from now on when I am boastful.

Dawn is not proud=Another hard one because both of us like to be right all the time.

Dawn does not dishonor others=I know I can make James feel horrible sometimes. I am going to stop dishonoring him.

Dawn is not self-seeking=OUCH! Really, really eye opening here!

Dawn is not easily angered=This goes right back to the patience.

Dawn keeps no records of wrongs=Yeah, this is the biggest problem with me. When I read this it really touched a nerve which is actually a good thing.

Dawn does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth=Sometimes I find myself happy about others failures. Does that make me a bad person? No, just something else I need to work on.

Dawn always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres=Another thing I think I am pretty good at but can always improve on.

Dawn never fails=Funny that all of this is stuff I have to work on but I know by this that I will never fail at my marriage, my friendships or whatever is in my life.

So yeah, pretty deep things. But I think by putting my name in the places that I have, that I have been given a more important vision as to how God wants me to be like a good wife, mother and friend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watching Children Grow

Last week James was on vacation and we spent some time cleaning out our bedroom closet. In the back of the closet we found "The Picture Bible" that his mom had given to us some time ago when Carly was a baby. Carly has a baby bible but it is really too young for her now so we told her last night that we were "giving" her a new bible but she had to give her old bible to Logan. She was so excited to have a big girl bible!

We were all sitting in bed last night reading her bible to her and Logan and a feeling of calmness just rested on me. I had this feeling of desire to learn more myself. So after we tucked the kids in bed I did something I have never done before: I picked up my bible and started reading. I don't know why I have never read the bible before, I guess maybe because the language is hard for me to understand. But I was determined no to let that get in my was.

My Sunday school class is studying 1st and 2nd Kings right now so that is were I started. After I finished the lesson for this Sunday, I flipped open to Proverbs and skimmed over that. Next I went to Revelations. I have always wanted to read Revelations but after attempting to read the first chapter I got so lost and confused I had no idea what I was reading! So I just read the study questions in my bible in Revelations.

I was done after that since it was a little on the late side. But what really got me thinking about this is how my children's growth in the Lord has really given me a desire to grow in Him myself. Children are so young and pure and speak whatever is on their minds and that is such a great quality. Having children is the single most important thing that has happen in my life because if it wasn't for them, I would not have any faith in God. I wouldn't know who He is and I would continue to be a lost soul. I thank God for my kids and one day when they are older I intend on telling them exactly what they have done in my life.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A revelation...

‎"Love is the commitment of my will to your needs and best interests, regardless of the costs." ~Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel

What a statement?!?! This is what was in the bible study class that I went to this week. I am taking a Grace Based Parenting course to go right along with my One Word for the year. I can really tell that I am growing in my spiritual self as well as in the way I treat others. But this week the lesson really hit a home run with something that I have been struggling with my whole life. I am going to break this up into two sections.

Dr. Tim Kimmel made this remarkable statement in his book and study guide: ‎"Love is the commitment of my will to your needs and best interests, regardless of the costs." Talk about some deep stuff. The first part of this statement I have no problems with at all. Anyone that really knows me, or shot has had any contact with me at all, will tell you I put others needs before my own. I am a giver, that's my love language. I will give and give until I can't give anymore. But that is not good enough and here is where the second part comes in.

Regardless of the costs... This is where I run into problems. While we were discussing our lesson in class a question was asked in the book: Which part of this statement ‎"Love is the commitment of my will to your needs and best interests, regardless of the costs." is the hardest for you to carry out? Since our class is very small we are allowed to just talk freely with whatever is on our hearts. So I started just talking and eliminating the first part of the statement I was left with the last part. I dug a little deeper because I didn't think that would be it. I don't ask for money in return for anything I give. I don't ask for anything to be returned to me. So this can't be it, can it?

But wait! It is! Why? I dug down deep and found my answer. Regardless of the cost is it for me. I always, ALWAYS expect something in return. Recognition, praise, time... SOMETHING!!! And as I was talking all this out the instructor really saw the light bulb go off in my head. Praise to Jesus that this was brought to my attention in this way. He has a plan for everyone's life and if we aren't going in the direction that He wants us too, He will find a way to bring it to our attention and boy did He do that to me this week.

Now back to the original statement. After reading this I went back and re read the whole chapter. The statement here Dr. Tim Kimmel has classified it as the defination for the word "love" and I can whole heartedly agree that this is the true deffination for it.

God is great and He is working on making me a better woman! Thank you God for not giving up on me!