Friday, July 24, 2015

God's Love

     I'm sitting in church, beside me our three year old leans his head against my arm and places his little hand in mine. My heart swells with love for this little guy, and expands even more as I look at the rest of my family sitting around me. I breathe a silent prayer of thanks for all God has done in my life and for giving me Mr. Pepper and our four children.
     The pastor is standing and repeating things, much in the same way he does every Sunday in his low monotone voice.
     "God loves you," he says. "You are special to Him. He delights in you. When he looks at you He says well done. He's proud of you. You are worthy!" He keeps speaking more platitudes of how awesome we are, and how much God loves us.
      For a long time these types of sermons have bothered me, and the more I thought about and tried to decipher my feelings the more confused I felt, because what he says is true. God does love us, His children are special to Him, but something is missing. Something is off, and quite frankly, wrong.
     I was pondering all of this again and I think I have come to a conclusion.
     It is true, God does love us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, but God is also a Holy God, one whom we should worship in fear, in awe, and with great thanksgiving.
      Somehow along the line the focus has become on us. How great we are. We're awesome, just look at me I'm worthy. Even God thinks I'm great. When instead our focus needs to be on Jesus, on God. We serve a Holy God, a just God, a God of love and mercy. Without Him we are nothing. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. When  God looks at me I want to stand covered in the righteousness of Christ, not in the illusion of thinking I'm something so special and wonderful.
       God's love is a life-changing, redemptive love that reorients the soul from self gazing to staring in awe at our wonderful Saviour.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hodgepodging

 
1. When did you last 'swim against the tide'? Explain.

It's summer and Bible school time. As a family we choose not to send our children to VBS and church camps. Doesn't mean we don't love God, it just means we don't see the need for our children to be put into uncertain situations without Mr. Pepper and I being present.

2. What's the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?

The Bible.

3"Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness." (Sir James Goldsmith) 

Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because I think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.

I agree. I think as a whole we need to be more tolerant of each other, and opposing views. That doesn't mean we have to simply accept everything, or change our morals and convictions, but there is never a need to spew hatred.

4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?

Cooking and baking with my mother. I loved it! She included me, and I think enjoyed my help with every meal she made as far back as I can remember.

5. How did/do your own children's summers compare with your summers as a child? If you're not a parent, answer as it relates to what you've observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.

I spent a lot more time outdoors unsupervised. Our children enjoy being outdoors, but we don't allow them to roam the neighborhood like both Mr. Pepper and I used to do in our childhood. Times have changed so much, and we don't feel it's safe.

6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?

At a beach somewhere. Preferably somewhere in the north.

7.  Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it's title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.

I Can Walk on Water by Basshunter. Maybe not my favorite water song, but I do like listening to it occasionally.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Taking evening walks on the different hiking trails in our area is pleasant this time of year. So many flowers blooming. I love seeing them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Christmas in July

     Scrolling through the channels on the TV last weekend trying to find a little something that was actually worth my time to watch, I happened upon the Hallmark channel and discovered they are playing Christmas movies.
     Most Hallmark Christmas movies are so predictable and about all I can do to stomach them even during Christmas season, that I was about to scroll on, but then I saw A Princess for Christmas was going to play. I had to record it. It's one of the few movies that I will watch more than once.
     Tonight, as Mr. Pepper and our children are out playing a game of catch, I'm going to prop up my feet, sip a glass of lemonade, and enjoy myself a little Christmas in July.