Monday, November 29, 2010
A whole holiday devoted to the act of giving thanks? Pretty great isn't it? But as I was thinking about it, I hope that Thanksgiving isn't the only day that you and I are giving thanks. Even on turkey day, it's easy to get caught up and forget the giving thanks part. We are so extremely blessed. We live in a world where the bounty that is piled on each person's plate isn't a one time thing. Yes, we may not eat to the point of gluttony every day, but do we want for our next meal? Some people do.
I spent Thanksgiving with extended and somewhat distant family. Our blood connection didn't really matter, however, as we all introduced ourselves and commenced the mixing of drinks and eating of food. There was so much delicious goodness that I couldn't contain it all and passed out on the couch in a food coma. Having enjoyed a quintessential American Thanksgiving, I proceeded to fall asleep to a crackling fire and the sounds of a football game as well as lively conversations going on around me. I am thankful. Thankful for all the excess of food. The resources that allowed us to have all that food. For family that loves me and includes me in all their family get-togethers. For extended family who welcome me in and make me a part of the festivities. I just am so incredibly blessed.
So, as I write this post about thanksgiving, I want to share with you a verse that I read recently that I feel is very apropos:
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I certainly don't do all of that all the time, but it was a good reminder for me. Something a pastor said a couple weekends ago also comes to mind. He said something along the lines of: "When you wake up every morning, the first thing that you should do is to thank God for your salvation and the forgiveness of your sins. Your biggest burden and worry has been taken care of!" Which struck me. I hardly ever thank God for my salvation, that my sins have been forgiven. And it's so true. And it gives me such perspective. When I am overwhelmed and stressed about family, relationships, school, the future (aka. a job), I need to remember that ultimately, my biggest and most impossible concern in this world has been taken care of by Jesus Christ. Thank God! (literally.)
So I hope that God reminds you of many many things to be thankful for.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty
not one of them is missing.
All creation testifies and sings praise to the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Savior of all the world. Have you taken time to delight in what the Lord has made... just for you?
Yesterday was a good day. Classes weren't particularly stressful, and I was able to finally give a presentation that had been on my mind, weighing on me until I finally gave it. I even got the invitation to play some volleyball (that was a huge deal because I haven't been able to do that in over a year, and I can't begin to explain how excited I am). Yet as I walked back to my apartment from a small group meeting, I was a grouch. Just plain bad mood.
I was mystified. It wasn't even that anyone had said or done anything. What the heck was going on?! So then I started second guessing myself, beating myself up for how my presentation had gone, or how many people had contributed to discussion at small group. This, I knew, was dumb, because you can't change the past and things had actually gone pretty well. So what was it? I still couldn't figure it out. Then the situation just got worse because I was so frustrated with myself that I was getting in an even fouler mood. And unfortunately, it was the people around me who suffered through a rather short attitude. Finally I decided it was just time to end the day. Get in the shower, then get in bed and be done. Sometimes I feel like that's just what has to happen. So I got in the shower. And there must be some therapeutic effect of the running water or maybe the steam cleared up my brain.
Spiritual warfare. I am, as I'm sure many people are, more vulnerable to it when I'm tired. I'm more likely to believe those little lies that Satan tells to break me down slowly, get me to start feeling sorry for myself. As if I'm not already self absorbed. I knew that I was getting it pretty heavy because I was feeling so crummy, so I decided no deep, extended conversations with my roommates or boyfriend because they probably wouldn't have positive outcomes. Bed. And God was good. A full night of rest and waking up to the song O Praise Him running through my head. I was still feeling a little off as the day went on, but God gave me some scripture that has really spoken truth to me. Perhaps it'll speak to you too.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-8
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawlessness one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
Can I just say, how much more badass can Jesus be?
Friday, November 5, 2010
writing is generally my way of processing, and usually this takes the form of a journal entry. but every now and then, i feel the need to bounce my ideas off other people. so as i'm thinking and processing, i thought that this would be a good place to do so. often my thoughts aren't very coherent, so it's kind of nice to be able to go and spellcheck/edit my thoughts. doesn't work so smoothly with pen and paper. hopefully my thoughts and experiences will resonate with you or at least cause you to think.
more to come when the class workload eases up a bit.
more to come when the class workload eases up a bit.