Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Man's authority

Matthew 9 begins with Jesus telling the people that the son of man has authority to forgive sins. Does this mean we have authority to forgive EVERYONE'S sins? Or just those who have sinned against us? How cool if we can forgive all sins....

Matthew 9:13 in part says, "... (I do) not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Jesus tells people this when they question why he is dining with sinners. I find that interesting.... He didn't call his followers to dine with Him. He didn't call those full of faith, nor those who already believed in Him. He called sinners. And even though I believe in God and I am full of faith... I am told that I am a sinner. I am told to pray to God and pray to Jesus to forgive my sins here on Earth so that I will be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Now I DO this... I talk to God quite often actually and ask Him for guidance and strength. I suppose I should start asking His forgiveness as well.

My bible is a used copy and there is a part highlighted in the passage I read today: Matthew 10: 34-39. This passage talks about how Jesus didn't come to bring peace, but rather to turn families against each other. He says that if we love members of our family more than we love Him, then we are not fit for His blessings.

I would like to think that I love Jesus more than any mortal man... but I just don't know for sure. I think if someone told me to kill my son in the name of Jesus, I couldn't do it. Or to give him up to be sacrificed for Jesus. I can't imagine anyone feeling differently.

I gave up a child to Jesus... but that was not by choice. As first I was pissed. Why me? Why MY child? But as time went on, I came to feel blessed to have been chosen. Chosen to be the mommy of an angel (thus the title of my other blog). But given the choice? I don't think I could do it.

I love Jesus... I'm just not sure I love Him more than anyone else. And that feels OK to me. Perhaps in time that will change.. perhaps I am miscontruing the true meaning of the words... but for now, I'm good with it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Matthew 7-8

Enter through the narrow gate and follow the narrow path. The wide gate and broad road lead to destruction. This follows the same meaning as in Matthew 6:19-21 " Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

If we take the narrow path, we won't have space for material things so we won't be able to store up treasures. For too long of a time, I was storing up treasures. I felt that the more I had, the better a person I was. I couldn't get rid of anything. If I saw something I wanted, I bought it... even if I had no idea where I was going to put it. And I made sure everyone knew that I had gotten something new. Boastful. I look back now and think, "What a shame."

The narrow path allows us to focus more on our destination... to focus more on Jesus and His teachings. By taking this challenge, I think Janette and I are following the narrow path.

I was also struck by Matthew 7: 24-27 that talks about "The Wise and Foolish Builders". When Mike and I got married, one of the readings we chose was about building your marriage on a strong foundation. It talked about how a marriage could withstand just about anything if it were built on a solid foundation. Mike's brother read that reading at our wedding. Afterwards, the priest got up to talk and he said that in the number of years that he had been doing weddings (I can't remember now how many years that was... but I think it was over 20) he had never had a couple choose that particular reading. He said couples always chose the happy and "fluffy" verses... but never the verse that has so much meaning. He said when he saw we had chosen that verse, that he was confident that our marriage was going to last and that it was truly a union made in the Lord's name.

Just like a house built on a solid foundation... it weathers the storms. I pray that this is true about my marriage. My mom and dad would have celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary the year he died. Mike's mom and dad would be celebrating their 43rd I believe it is. I am certain those marriages were not without storms... but they withstood. We have big shoes to fill.

I need prayers as well... prayers that I will not judge others. I have such strong opinions, and am not afraid to keep them to myself. It is difficult when listening to others judge to not jump in w/ my own opinions. Lord, help me to not be judgemental.

Let's go and follow the narrow path.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Matthew 5-6

These two chapters tell a lot of what not to do. The beatitudes and commandments are here.

I think that when I pray, I "babble on like the pagans". The Lord's prayer is so simple, yet it really does cover all of the bases. My church rarely prays the Lord's prayer because it has become so rote for most people. We learned this prayer as a child, and can recite it in the middle of mass chaos without a second thought about it. I think I need to make it my goal to pray in a succinct yet meaningful way. Blake says our dinnertime prayer most of the time and he says the same thing every night, "Dear God, thank you for this food and for this drink. Thank you for us being together for dinner tonight, and thank you for everything else good that happened today. Amen." I think it has become rote to him. It has become rote to me... I typed that w/o even having to stop and think.

I also found the definition of adultery interesting. Although it says if a man looks at a woman... but I'm sure it would go both way. If I look at a man other than my husband with lustful thoughts, then I am committing adultery. I don't think that I do that... sure I look at other men and think how gorgeous they are, but I don't think about sleeping with them. (Well, other than Carter Oosterhouse and Ty Pennington... both of whom Michael said I can sleep with if they will do work on the house in return. LOL!!)

Our world is SO different from the world that Jesus walked in. I wonder how these commandments would be written today? It is not righteous to marry a divorced person... yet there are people married all the time to people who are divorced (it has happened in my own family). Matthew states that marrying a divorced woman is committing adultery.

This is something I would actually like to discuss with my pastor, or someone who knows the Bible much better than I do. Are we to take the commandments as they are written? Or is there freedom to skew them? And if there is freedom... then why aren't ALL of the commandments skewed? Thou shalt not kill.... this has pretty much stayed the same. It is wrong to kill. Although, I guess that is skewed too.... criminals who get the death penatly are killed legally. If you kill someone in self defense, the law doesn't consider it wrong. Of course... those are man's laws. Maybe if Jesus were here today, he'd be having fits for all of the skewing of the commandments.

Maybe if we start living the commandments as they are written, our world would be a better place.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Matthew 3-4

So Jesus was baptized by John, who didn't think he should be baptizing Jesus. He thought Jesus should be baptizing him... but Jesus explained and John ended up baptizing him. Then God sent Jesus on a journey of temptation with the devil. It didn't appear that resisting those temptations was difficult for Jesus... but maybe it was. Maybe after fasting for 40 days, it looked darn good to turn those stones into bread. He could have easily turned those stones to bread and eaten that bread to satisfy his hunger. But his hunger for his father was far greater.

And then... he healed the sick. This is an area that confuses me. Why did He heal the sick then... but not now? He healed anyone who came to him... but that doesn't happen now. Why is that?

Back to temptation... How often are we tempted by the devil? And do we give in? I shamefully have to admit that I do. I think thoughts that I know are from the devil. I am sure I even speak the devil's words. But I try to recognize when this is happening and stop it in it's tracks. I try to take a step back and say a little prayer asking God for strength in my weak time.

I need to do that more. I need to let the word of God flow from my lips MORE than the words of the devil.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A new challenge

My friend, Janette, and I were chatting and we were both complaining about how often satan tries to get into our heads and our hearts. We both admitted that we don't read the Bible as often as we should, and that we obviously have TIME to read the Bible since we were sitting on the computer chatting with each other.

So... a new challenge was born. We don't have a name for it... I guess it's just the Christ challenge. We started right then... right when we were talking about it. The plan is that we will read 1-2 chapters a day and then check in w/ each other on Friday each week to discuss our reading. We decided to start in the New Testament with Matthew (since that is the beginning of the NT).

We also pray before reading... for ourself and for each other... that we will understand the words we are reading. That our hearts will be touched. That we will learn from the words and that we will spread the word of God.

My personal challenge is going to be to blog about my reading. So, here we go...

Matthew 1: 1-2.

After reading today, I realize how truly blessed I am to live in a country where I am free to read and share the word of God. A man spoke at my church recently about his ministry in another country. They have printed Bibles for the people of that country... but the Bibles have to be printed in such a way that they don't LOOK like Bibles. People of that country will be killed for owning/ reading a Bible and for speaking the word of God. And even though, the threat of death is there... the people STILL reach out to God and read His word.

I think about Mary and Joseph. How the angel came to them and spoke to them. Although it is not something I can even begin to imagine... an angel coming and talking to me... it must have been SO difficult for Mary and Joseph to believe what they were hearing and to actually DO what the angel told them to do. Yet they did it... without hesitation.

And here I am freely discussing Christ and His word. How blessed I am. I don't have to run and hide from the King Herods of the world. How difficult it must have been for Joseph and Mary to believe those dreams... to believe that they really were seeing an follow the angel's directions. To TRUST to do what the angel said to do, and when.

I have the freedom... but do I have the TRUST?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Too long.

Wow... it's been too long since I've blogged anything on this blog. Facebook is keeping me busy and in touch I guess. At least in touch with friends and family. Not so much in touch with God.

I am feeling uneasy again about my relationship with God. Feeling like I need more. I need to do more. I'm not sure where it's going to lead, but I'm being patient.

I have seen/ heard so many stories lately of people with cancer. I don't understand cancer. I don't understand why God allows people to suffer so. Don't get me wrong... I don't want to get cancer to find out about it. I'm just sayin... What do you do when you know you are dying? How do you plan your time? Especially when you are dying such a horrible and painful death. Can you have quality time with your loved ones when you are suffering?

I think I would rather enjoy my family day to day and when I die, let it be quick. Is that selfish of me? I don't want my child to watch me waste away, become incompetent, lose the real me. I don't want my husband to worry about hurting me when he hugs me (although with my RA that's always the case anyway)... or to feel guilty because he has to go to work or do this or that and won't be able to spend the entire day with me. I don't want them wondering if they will find me dead or alive when they get back home.

Perhaps that is selfish of me.

I recently read a blog about a woman who's husband is fighting the cancer battle right now. She says that new meds could buy him some time and that they "need" that time. I wonder who needs the time? Not to be rude or judgemental... I just wonder. Does he need that time? Does he need to extend the fight? Or is it the rest of his family that just aren't ready to let him go?

I don't know. As much as I wish my dad were still alive, I am glad he is not in pain. One of the last times he was in the hospital I was visiting with him. He was very aggitated. When he finally fell asleep he was so peaceful. I don't know if he could hear me... I like to think he could. I told him how much I loved him. How wonderful it was to have him as my daddy. And through my tears, I choked out the words, "It's OK to go you know? When you are ready, Pop. Don't worry about us, we'll make it. You just go whenever you need to."

The movie script would have him dying right then. It didn't happen that way in real life. He lived another couple of months, It wasn't all bad... but he had more bad days than good. *sigh*

My prayer for today is that a cure is found for cancer. That people don't have to watch their loved ones die slow and painful deaths. That I can be patient long enough to hear what God is telling me to do next.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Reason...

I read a friend's blog post today and she talks about noticing the blessings in our lives, rather than taking them for granted. About how for many people, it takes a life changing event to make us realize that we are taking those blessings for granted.

After reading her post... Mike and I went to run errands and we had to go to the post office. As I was walking in, I saw the most beautiful thing on the pillar in front of the post office. Most people were walking right by... completely oblivious. I was enthralled by it. A gift from God... right there outside the post office... and how many people weren't even taking the time to admire it?

Luckily I had my camera in the van (another blessing)... so I grabbed it and snapped a few pics.

How sad that so many people completely missed the chance to see God's beauty right before their eyes.