Small steps in faith

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I know how she feels :)

At my house, it's 3 cars and a motorcycle but this is definitely me :)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Worship's more than words

We sang a song called "Beautiful Lord" by Leeland
Sometimes the words of worship songs speak for me..give me comfort..give me hope

"When the storm is raging all around me
You are the peace that calms my troubled sea
And when the cares of this world darken my day
You are the light that shines and shows me the way"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Looking at the world differently

I read an article in my email yesterday about how Christians sometimes view the world as wrong. It gave another way to look at things. It seems that people get hung up on right vs wrong, your way or my way,etc. When you're lost sometimes you just need a little help,a little guidance, and support so that you can find a better way....and we all need that help at one time or another.

Lost and found
by John Fischer

The world is not wrong as much as it is lost, and “lost” is the operative word here.

For some time now, it seems to have been very important to many people in the church and in Christian circles that the world is wrong. As a result, a good deal of effort has been put into trying to fight the wrong in order to overcome it and make right prevail. This has been unfortunate in some ways for our mission in the world, which is to spread the Good News of Christ’s forgiveness to all because of the cross, and invite people to become followers of Christ. As a result, a confusing mixed message has gone out. Something like: We love you and want to let you know that Christ died for your sins; we really don’t like you unless you see things the way we do.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid the second message has been much louder than the first. It’s become more important to make society Christian than to make Christians in society.

There’s one way to a quick attitude change that will help us get back on track with our mission. Think of the world as being not wrong as much as it is lost, and “lost” is the operative word.

When someone is wrong, the other’s job is to set that person right. Do you have anybody like this in your life – someone who is out to set you straight in some area? How happy are you to see this person as a general rule? This attitude creates a very conditional relationship and one in which the person who is “right” is always better. In contrast, when someone is lost, the other’s job is to find that person, and believe me, someone coming to my rescue is a much more welcome sight than someone coming as my judge.

Jesus stated his mission was as one coming to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10). He loved the lost. He told lots of stories about lost things: a coin (Luke 15:8-10), a pearl in a field (Matthew 13:44-46), one sheep among a hundred (Luke 15:3-7), and one son who was lost – who when he came home, was not touted for being wrong, but was celebrated for having been found (Luke 15:11-27)!

God’s heart is really big. He’s already dealt with the right versus wrong thing on the cross. No need to spend a lot of time proving what we already know about everyone, including ourselves: We’re all wrong. Let’s get back to finding people who are lost and the joy of being found ourselves (because we were lost, too). I think that will be much closer to our mission.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Saturday, January 20, 2007

"The Daffodil Principle"

I got an email from my dad with a story about a woman who has planted a field of daffodils since 1958 and cared for them. The woman who wrote the story talked about something called the "Daffodil Principle" so I'm including it...words of wisdom

"When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world ...

The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting...

Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die...

There is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
So work like you don't need money.
Love like you've never been hurt, and, Dance like no one's watching. "

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Quick to listen..slow to speak...slow to get angry

I heard a message this week dealing with the passage in James..."My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen,slow to speak, and slow to get angry." James 1:19
Words can be one of the most damaging weapons to a person's soul. Not just spoken words....written words as well.
In the past few months, I've watched people I love be hurt by words. I've watched "sides" develop where there should be no sides. I've watched words and anger destroy relationships. All in the name of "Christianity"
Last night Mike talked about violence vs passivism...and he showed there is a 3rd way to handle things...nonviolence...and it's done with love. There is never just 2 ways,2 sides,there is a 3rd way....Jesus showed us that in his the way he responded to the Pharisees,in his actions. I think there are alot of us,myself included, who need to be reminded of that.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Congratulations Kristen!!!!

I have always loved this picture that Mike took of Kristen at 412 because it shows her heart for worship.
Today Kristen found out that she made Campus Choir at Lee. She will be traveling to different cities on the weekends and doing what she loves to do...sing :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The coolest phone....June 2007

I don't consider myself a "computer geek" but I do love my macbook..the iPhone however is one of the coolest things I've seen.
I watched the presentation that Steve Jobs gave and this phone does everything and looks user friendly
Hmm I have a birthday in June :^)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Reaching out in a practical way to "Jesus"

I read a post by my worship minister Adam that made me think about "turning members to missionaries" .
Then, I read this article and it gave such a great example of how to reach out and show compassion to one of those who, as Adam described in his message on Sunday, "are Jesus"...the homeless. Just be careful that you don't make it "something to check off your list to make yourself look good."

My Prodigal Brother
Allison Hancock

I’ve heard the story of the prodigal son since childhood. A young man leaves his home, takes his inheritance and wastes it on a frivolous lifestyle. Broken and penniless, he returns home expecting the worst. His greatest hope was for his father to take him back, not as a son, but as a slave or hired servant. To his shock, however, his father welcomes him and even runs down the road to meet him with open arms and prepares a feast to celebrate his son’s return.

Not too long ago, I had an encounter with a modern-day prodigal son—a smiling, chuckling homeless man whose worn face held two bright, searching eyes that were looking for more than food. They were looking for the love of a Father.

As my boyfriend and I finished up our meal at a restaurant downtown one night, our waitress asked if we wanted a to-go box. With only a thin, and now cold, slice of pizza left, we shook our heads no. As she began to clear our plates away, I felt somewhat guilty. Moved by a recent conversation in our Bible study about being a truly giving person, our group had decided to start reaching out to the homeless. I stopped her, and we packed up our small slice of pizza. I knew that we would encounter many homeless and hungry people on the walk to our car who would be more than happy to receive it as dinner tonight.

As we walked, I searched the streets to find some soul to bless. There was an older man nestled into a crevice in the wall of an old building. This was obviously going to be his home for the night. I imagine that the gap between the columns of the building offered some shield from the crisp night air. I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. Slowly, he raised his head as I thrust the to-go box towards him. I could see his dull, sad eyes begin to look upon me with curiosity as to what I wanted and relief that I wasn’t a cop.

"Would you like this for dinner?" I asked him.

A bright, wide smile stretched across his worn face underneath a thick, graying beard.

"Thank you," he answered.

With a chuckle, he pointed to my boyfriend, "You don't mind me eating this do you? Was it supposed to be your dinner?"

My boyfriend laughed and said, "No, go ahead."

With that, we left the chuckling homeless man and proceeded to our car. I walked away grinning, knowing that tonight, that man had food to eat. Feeling satisfied with myself, I thought of this story and how I would relate it to everyone during our next Bible study. I could not wait to suggest to the others to give their leftovers to homeless people.

Later that night, however, I was listening to a song by the band Leeland. As the CD played, I heard the lines to the song “Tears of the Saints,” that said, There are many prodigal sons / On our city streets they roam / Looking for shelter. I stopped myself and played those lines again and again. That bright smile flashed in my mind.
I did not know his name.

So often, I think of my faith as a list of good deeds I must do. But what really matters to God is my heart. God saw that homeless man, not as a check off of my spiritual to-do list for the week, but as a son. All I really cared about was the action, about telling my Bible study group about what I had done. I didn't even care to know his name so long as he helped me look like a better person. Good deeds are just that until I empower them with the love of Christ, then they are much more. With His love behind them, I am being Christ’s hands and feet. I am showing them the Father’s love.

As much as I try, I so often fail to see people through God's eyes of compassion and grace. Instead of seeing the prodigal sons and daughters, I see someone who can help me check off one more good deed for the week. I pray that God helps me to see with His eyes, and to see His sons and daughters as my brothers and sisters.