Friday, May 31, 2013

you don't deride us, chide us, or hide from us

“For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus. (2 Cor. 7:5–6)

“At times I still labor under the myth of an omnicompetence. If I just prayed enough, believed enough, or was filled with the Spirit enough, I would never get discouraged or downcast. What a groundless lie. What a horrible burden. What a humorless joke.
Thank you for comforting us when we’re downcast. You don’t deride us, chide us, or hide from us. You comfort us. You’re “the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). And thank you for the comforters you send us. Though you’re quite capable of sending ravens and rainbows and manna and miracles, more often than not you send a Titus to a Paul (2 Cor. 7:6) or a Phoebe to a Paul (Rom. 16:1). You love to show your kindness for your people through your people.”
                                                        - Scotty Smith


Sunday, May 19, 2013

good reads and ideas...and a way to help others

This. is. a. must. read. Wise words for moms of daughters from Emily over at Chatting at the Sky.

I can't read Sara Barton's blog and not be encouraged, challenged or learn something. I met Sara in Uganda. She was on the mission team in Jinja that we were able to spend a summer with while we were in college.  She talks about Praising God when we realize we have been wrong... who wants to do that?  Who wants to even admit that?!! Sara talks about this topic with grace and wisdom. This post is well worth your time...

Thriving Families has a great activity to do with your kids this summer. Around The World in 60 Days covers 27 different countries on six continents. In each day is included a Bible lesson and a glimpse into another culture. Included in the printables is a passport and stamps along with a world map.

Reading...we all know how important it is to the development of our children. If you have about six hours to spare this summer then I have an opportunity for you.  I learned about the YMCA's Y Readers program through our church. This is the second summer our church has partnered with the Y Readers volunteer program. Have you heard of it? We take summer reading for our kids for granted.  Of course they'll be reading books during the summer break, right?  But, do you know that many children go home for the summer to homes that have no books?  They won't visit the library or Barnes and Noble.  They won't sit down with a book at all this summer.  Research shows that children who do not read during the summer months lose 2.5 months of reading proficiency. The students the YMCA helps through these literacy camps are the students who attend Title 1 schools. These students need help and the Y has stepped up to bridge the gap for them. The Y needs volunteers, too. They need volunteers to commit to one hour a week, for six weeks, to listen to a child read and then read to a child. That's it! It's practicing justice right here in our own backyard. This program was started in Charlotte and has expanded nationwide. If you live in the Charlotte area you can contact Michelle Mosko at to volunteer. If you don't live in Charlotte you can contact your local YMCA to see if they participle in the Y readers program. You can also go here and here to read about the Y Readers.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

even on my best day

Last weekend Jason and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. Where did the years go? I wish that I had just a half an hour with that 22 year old girl that walked down the aisle...there were so many lessons that took so long for me to learn! :) That is a whole other blog post. In light of our anniversary approaching I pulled out the gift that the minister who performed our ceremony gave to Jason and me. It's a book with the message that he delivered at our wedding and the vows we spoke to each other. I love it! It is such a wonderful gift and I'm so thankful Nathan did that for us.

In his message he reads part of the 1 Corinthians 13 passage. We all know it. You may have even had it in your wedding ceremony! The whole chapter wasn't included in our ceremony, so I pulled it out to read again. Wow...the words and the description that Paul gives us of love is so intimidating. They are so intimidating because I know I haven't loved that way. I know I can't love that way. Read the words of Paul.

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(New International version)

Even on my best day...the absolute best I have ever had in my life...I can't even begin to be the love that is described in this chapter. But, what if Paul isn't describing for me how I should love, but instead is describing how Jesus loved? When I look at in that way...all of the pressure is off. Paul is describing Christ not me. He is showing us the only one capable of perfect love. I can't be those things but I don't have to, because Christ is those things and it is him living in me. My commentary (Bruce, Zondervan) suggests taking out the word love and substituting Christ in its place. Reading it that way has given new meaning into this passage. I am so thankful for the grace and the abundant perfect love of Christ.

13... But the greatest of these is Christ.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I need to preach the gopel to myself every day. I need to be reminded that it doesn't matter how much I think I have it together...I don't. I am a sinner...and it doesn't matter how many times I have been to church, how many Bible verses I have memorized or how much knowledge of the Bible I think I have...none of that saves me.  I need to remind myself that without Christ...I would be lost!

We are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope.
-Tim Keller

Monday, May 6, 2013

Henri on a Monday

"God's way is not to be relevant, or spectacular, or powerful. God's way is downward. Blessed are the humble. Blessed are the poor of heart. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the peacemakers."

- Henri Nouwen