Small steps in faith

Saturday, October 30, 2004

"What is the true meaning of worship?"

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship"
Romans 12:1

I've been thinking and reading alot about worship lately What does it mean to worship? I read an article in Planet Magazine yesterday which gives a good insight to what worship means to some famous worship leaders Chris Tomlin,Darlene Zschech,David Crowder,Martin Smith, and Paul Baloche

My favorite quote comes from Martin Smith, lead singer for the group Delirious?

"Get up in the morning and say, "God, it's amazing to be alive. It's amazing to have someone in my life to love." Give thanks for your car because you don't have to walk to work. Be thankful to God for who He is and what He has done. Get some CDs and sing along and worship God.Make yourself available for God each day to be quiet and praise. Take long walks in nature and talk to God. Steal moments to spend with God."

Worship involves all 5 senses I'm a visual person and today is the perfect day to worship and thank God for the beautiful fall day he has given us

"It's all of me for all of God." Louie Giglio

Friday, October 29, 2004

Two patients

In my job I think I've seen everything and then I'll have a patient who will touch my heart I actually had 2 patients that did that today One touched my heart in a sad way and one in a joyful way
I had a young woman with full blown AIDS who on the exterior was the roughest person I've dealt with for awhile Every other word out of her mouth started with f--- and she had a very defensive attitude She was newly diagnosed with diabetes on top of her other issues As I listened to her I realized that underneath the tough exterior was someone who had been hurt many times in her past and had made bad choices and she was scared and it broke my heart
My other patient was 80 years old and newly diagnosed with diabetes as well Her husband was 81 and they will be married 61 years next week She had a heart attack 2 days ago and almost didn't make it When her husband talked about it you could see tears in his eyes and you could feel how much he loved and cared for her even though she could no longer walk or take care of herself She is blessed to have that unconditional love that my other patient needs so much
I feel blessed to have both of them touch my heart and pray that God used me to touch their hearts as well in some small way

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"The Work of His Hands"

"This I have come to know is true. My children are not the work of my hands. My hands are not the hands that hold them, not the hands that mold them, not the hands that work all things together in their lives for good. They are the work of God's hands. I am merely a tool in those hands, a tool He has used in some way, for a short time, to shape them.
Though merely a tool, I am a tool that loves them. And though the tool may be used only in some way and only for a short time, it will love them in all ways and for all time. Even after the tool wears out and has been put away, the love it once had for them will live on in them. I hope so, anyway.
There has been joy in having my children at home, and sorrow in letting go of them. Those feelings, I have come to understand are also tools, tools that God has used in some way, for a short time, in shaping me.
Perhaps as an artist,
But certainly as a human being."

"The Work of His Hands"
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Being Conformed to the Image of Christ
by Ken Gire

This is the best book I have read for a long time It only took me 2 hours to read and I couldn't put it down once I started It absolutely touched my heart in every way The book takes a statue called the Pieta by Michelangelo and compares how God uses everyday circumstances of our lives to chip at our stubborness of self and conform us to Christ The Pieta is a statue that Michelangelo sculpted when he was 24 yrs old It is Mary holding Christ in her arms after he has been crucified The analogies he uses will just pierce your soul It's a very small book ,134 pages, but very powerful

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

God's answer

Important decisions to be made has increased the stress level in our family My first response always seems to be "What am I going to do to fix this?"
God gave me these verses to read today

"...Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. And you,my son,Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever." 1 Chronicles 28:8-9

I need to seek Him more with a willing mind and wholehearted devotion .... And trust

Monday, October 25, 2004

I love Mondays (Sometimes)

I am blessed to be off every other Monday While most people are starting their work or school week I use that morning to grow closer to God My family is out of the house by 7:45 am I think everyone needs that alone time whether it's Monday or another day You have that uninhibited freedom to worship,pray,meditate,journal,etc Alone time with just you and God
Try it :)

One of my morning devotions had to do with "dual citizenship" If you have accepted Christ as your Savior you have the privileges and rights as a citizen of God's kingdom but we are also called as Christ followers to be good citizens here on earth. "That means we must become involved in the life of our nation...Praying for its leaders,educating ourselves about candidates' views, and exercising our right to vote."
There is 1 week left until we exercise that right I'm not a political person but I know that next week's election has an impact on my future as well as those I love
I plan to pray for God's guidance in my decisions
You can't stick your head in the sand
It's too important

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Lee University

We got back about 1:30 this morning from our college visit to Lee University What an experience! It takes about 6 hrs to get there unless you run into construction in Kentucky and move about 2 miles an hour! It was well worth the time The campus is beautiful It reminds me of Miami U in Oxford with less trees We went with John, Karen, and Shelby Stevens ( Thanks for driving John :) which made the trip a lot of fun

I had asked for prayer that God make it known if this was the right place and I had an absolute peace the entire time we were there One of my biggest concerns was that it was Church of God but that was immediately a nonissue It was so obvious from the president to the faculty to the students that their focus is on Christ and developing your child's walk and they have a huge passion for the community locally as well as globally They have many denominations of students and faculty represented and it was clear that they were not out to cram their denomination down anyone's throat I did have to laugh at the boldness of one woman who told the president that she always thought of Church of God as being 3 steps away from "snake handling" Every question and concern was answered very honestly

Kristen had her audition for the music dept She felt good about her performance and she will know in about 2 weeks if she is accepted into the music dept Our major obstacle will be her Act/SAt scores and that is in God's hands as we speak because she is taking her ACT this morning

When Kristen and I were walking in the building after she was done with her audition she said "I feel like this is where God wants me to be " I felt that same feeling
The highlight was when the "Voices of Lee" performed They are 15 kids who have the most beautifully blended voices They travel all over the country and world

It was interesting to find out if you watch 722 with Louie Giglio that Steve Fee graduated from there but with a communication degree He does come back there many times It's only 2 hrs from 722 so alot of there students go down there as well through the year and Louie has been there to speak for chapel

Thanks for the prayers We'll see what happens

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Be Strong

My morning devotional spoke to my heart this morning
It's based on the verse from 2 Samuel 10:12 NIV "Be Stong and let us fight bravely for our peole and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight."
It talks about facing difficulties "As long as you're on the battlefield God can give you victory. But if you turn and run, what more can He do for you? It gave these 7 points to remember

1. Never give up when you know you're right
2. Believe that all things work together for good, if you just persevere
3. Don't let the odds discourage you; God's bigger than all of them.
4. Never let anyone intimidate you or deter you from your goals
5. Fight and overcome every limitation
6. Remember, every winner has dealt with defeat and adversity
7. Keep trying, confident that in God's strength you'll surely suceed

I hope this helps one of you in your day today God Bless

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

College Visit

I'm taking my daughter on a college visit to Lee University tomorrow with mixed emotions
I'm happy for her as she starts her journey into adulthood but also sad because I realized this week how much I will miss her when she goes
I know this is in God's hands and I have faith he will make it clear to us if this is the right college
I also know I'm going to need to pack a box of kleenex
Change is hard