Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Be Uncommon"

I am at work right now. But I had a sudden thought and I really wanted to write it down. I heard a quote from Tony Dungee this morning on the radio. He is an NFL coach and a devoted follower of Jesus. Mark and I have taken away several great life lessons from him. This morning he said his advice to graduates was to "Be Uncommon". Really simple but it got me thinking how hard being uncommon really is. That led to another thought. Mark is always pushing me in some way to give things up, to be better and follow God. He is really always pushing me to "be uncommon". I often get frustrated and think "well thats how so and so lives, or this person always does that so why should I stop?" I am reminded that it isn't about doing whatever anyone else does because that is not following God. It is about following God and doing what he wants which will always lead to being uncommon.

I get frustrated when Mark pushes me. I always think haven't I given up enough?? Or haven't I gotten good enough at that? He pushes me to trust God more, worry less. To need less material things and need God more. Sometimes I feel like I can't bear to give up one more thing or I will be so uncomfortable, have no security things left. Nothing comfortable. But today i was reminded that, isn't that just how God is? He always wants us to give up more, to need less and need Him more. Always with God it is just one more thing. He always wants more than we think we can give because then we NEED him, then we HAVE to DEPEND on Him.

I am thankful today that my husband does push me to serve God better, to live a simple life and to always be so dependent on my Father in Heaven.

I want to "be uncommon". I am not a graduate but this advice will stick with me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I have been reading "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns with my bible study. He is the president of World Vision and it is all about poverty and what we are really missing as the Church. The biggest realization I have had in reading this book is how desensitized I have become to poverty. I realize that though I care about it I do nothing in my day to day life to help or change things. I rarely think about it and never do things to learn about and help poverty. I wonder how many of us are desensitized to it. I wonder if we could wake up and make one small step what kind of difference it would make.

I have also spent a lot of time thinking about how I live my life. I figured out today that while Faith and John were living here the 4 of us were using about 150 gallons of water A DAY!! Isn't that insane. And yet some people have none, and what they do have they have to haul from a source to their house just to get clean. I can't even imagine. As some of you know I cherish my baths. I love taking them and i take them all the time. I decided that it would be good for me to give them up. They use so much water and maybe in the tiniest way I can start to live a little more responsibly and with a little less. So I said I won't take a bath until the first of the year. About 6 months. I will still take showers but I know I will save a lot of water and will be foregoing something that is comforting and fun--and a HUGE luxury to a lot of the world.

I have just been so challenge to live on less. We already live on little and yet I know there is so much more we could go without. Even the amount of food that we eat. Mark and I eat on about 8 dollars a day. So 4 dollars a person a day. It seems like so little. You can't eat a meal at McDonalds for that. BUT we have so much more food than we need. I know we eat more than we need and I also know that we don't eat everything we have before it goes bad.

All of this though can be so frustrating because I often I live...does it matter? Am I changing anything? Today I decided that I know if we live on less then we have extra money and I know we can give that to sponsoring a child or to some other ministry and that makes a difference. The key is doing something--anything with the extra. Not using what we save to buy us more things or for us to go somewhere but to feed the world and do SOMETHING.

What can you live without? Or what could you live on less of? Think about it...Im sure there is something!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today I am thankful for..

Sunshine! (did I say this a couple days ago? Im always thankful for sunshine)

The pink flowers in my window sill

8 hours of sleep

Peace--and the realization that I need to SEEK it or it doesn't come

That someone said "work needs to revolve around your life not the other way around"

The fact that Jesus is what matters--not money, jobs, education, food etc.

That I have a bright orange shirt to wear to work today ---when all else fails I know that bright colors will make me smile


Good music

Thats all for now...

P.S. this is my way of practicing starting my day being joyful and thankful. Not negative and annoyed. It works. TRY IT!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I wrote this to submit to a magazine a while ago. They give topics and verses and then you write. I didn't submit it right away because I was waiting for a friend to review it and then I completely forgot and missed the deadline. So I will share it with you... (the magazine requires it to be King James Version, thus some of the funny words...)

“A great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round bout the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.” The power from this passage radiates through me as I read these words. Something about this picture is right and creates an unquenchable desire within me to worship God with thousands and thousands of other believers. It reminds me of a familiar feeling around Christmas time. I love the day before Christmas Eve when everyone is out and about grabbing their last specials gifts and the remaining few ingredients, Christmas music is winding down the aisle and the excitement pulsates through the air. Something inside me becomes overwhelmed and excited participating in this holiday dance. I love being a part of something big and celebrating it with people all across the nation and world at the same time. We are all excited about the same thing and we are all getting ready for the same big event. We all share it in common. We can talk about it, dream about and be anxious about it together. There is something within us –something that God created – to desire and long to be a part of something huge. I believe it is worship.

The Bible gives us accounts of people worshipping God in all circumstances. We see worship come from thankfulness, from sorrow, from joy and from fear. We are beings made to worship God for all of eternity and he is preparing us for the day when “every knee will bow and ever tongue will confess” the risen name of Jesus Christ. But have you ever wondered why God created us this way? I think back to a time when a beloved mentor shared an experience from when she was first married. Life was hard for them, no place to call home, no jobs, no money to buy food and they had no one to share in their pain. They were lying in bed one bleak night at her husband’s parents’ house wrestling with what their lives had become and what they should do next. Overwhelmed with sorrow and grief, they felt God calling them to remember the good in their life. So they began with the simple things. They thanked God for each other, for the beds they were sleeping in, for the clothes they were wearing, and for the dinner that he had provided for them that night. They continued on and on until theirs hearts were so full of thankfulness they thought they might burst. They fell on their knees and worshipped the Lord and from then on things were different for them. They still had no home and still had no jobs, their circumstances had not changed but their hearts had. They saw things differently and were now carrying a new sense of hope and freedom – worship changed them.

Even in the worst of circumstances we can choose to worship our God. I remember this story often, especially when my life feels as though it is falling apart. It is easy to worship God when we have all we need and the sun is always shining, but when winter takes over and life is falling apart worship is no longer a choice – it is a necessity. Is there not always something to thank God for? Can’t we always start with the clothes on our back and the food in our belly? Or maybe we don’t even have those luxuries. Instead we can worship him because one day we “shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore…For the Lamb shall feed [us], and shall lead [us] unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all the tears from [our] eyes.” Can you imagine? To never hunger, thirst or cry again. Now that is something to worship our God for.
We understand God so much more when we take the time to let our hearts and mind meditate on his greatness, his unfailing love and his never-ending grace. Every day we can practice being thankful for all the little things we take for granted, such as food and clean water. We can look out our windows or even walk out our doors and admire the beauty that God has created all around us. We can worship him because of the adorable laugh from our child or because of a great song on the radio. He created it all so why not give him the credit he is due and let our hearts overflow with gratefulness and adoration? God has redeemed us and in the end all that will matter is the God we know and love. One day we will stand among the multitudes of his children and sing “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” May we not let that day be the first time our hearts have truly worshipped our God on high!


Today I am thankful for...

the jobs that Mark and I both have. We make enough money at these jobs to support us and for that I am thankful.

A warm house and food to eat.

Beautiful pink flowers to put in a vase and have in my home.

A warm comfy puppy who loves to cuddle.
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