Friday, June 30, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Reflecting back on that moment and on those special memories, I can’t help but wonder what gifts Satan is trying to use for his purposes in my life today. Scripture tells us that nothing is kept from Satan and that he will use every possible device to accomplish his purposes. Satan not only attacks our weak-links, he has the ability to corrupt even our strengths or spiritual gifts. What gifts of yours is Satan trying to use for his purposes?
1 Peter 5:8-9
Monday, June 26, 2006
There are so many times in my life when I feel desperate, scared, lonely, or hopeless but often I don’t recognize God’s voice when he calls out to me in comfort. I would imagine that my inability to recognize his voice is a reflection of how well I know him and hope that as I mature in my relationship with him that I will more quickly recognize his voice. May I be as a child who knows his mother’s voice above all others.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Growing up I always justified watching questionable movies because I thought that since I was a Christian they wouldn’t affect or tempt me but truth be told, I still find storylines and images from those questionable movies popping up in my head every once in a while. I can tell myself that I am not affected by the things I expose myself to when trying to be “culturally relevant” but any ungodly thing I allow into my head can easily cause me to stumble later. Luckily, I just recently discovered two websites that I think will be invaluable as I raise my children because they will allow us to watch current movies without the violence, language, or sexually explicit scenes. The prices are a little higher than your average video store membership but the rewards are priceless. Be sure to checkout hollygood.com and cleanflicks.com.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Years later, while working on a Let's Start Talking campaign, I found myself in Kampala, Uganda (Africa), teaching English using the Bible. Uganda was primarily an English speaking country, as far as government was concerned. Consequently, refugees entering Kampala, the nation's capital, often found themselves unable to communicate with officials. Although my team’s original mission was to teach English to refugees from the Republic of Congo, I quickly found myself devoted to the Ethiopian/Eritrean refugees. One day while reading during my free time, one of the Ethiopian refugees approached the learning center from the street. Trying first in Arabic he attempted to ask me a question; four languages later he hit on a language that I knew: Italian! I soon learned that although most Ethiopians and Eritreans spoke only Arabic or Amharic, many also spoke Italian and/or Greek (look at a map and you will understand why). Just two years prior to this trip I had spent two semesters studying abroad in Florence, Italy and at that moment I knew that although my Italian skills were by no means exceptional, I was there for a reason. Have you ever had a moment in your life when you suddenly realized that you were UNIQUELY qualified for the situation?
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
A few weeks ago I had a meeting with a very important and well-known man in our brotherhood. I had only just met the man when he looked over at my bookshelf and said, "Your bookshelf sure is empty; looks like you aren't much of a reader." I wanted to say something smart like, "I don't want to be sized up by the books I read so I don't display mine," but I opted instead for something a little more gracious and humble. It shouldn't have bothered me, but it did, and now I find myself glancing at the bookshelf several times throughout the day wondering what my books say about me.
Those of you who know me well know that I am five months past a very difficult pregnancy that included 10 weeks of bedrest, an emergency c-section and a sweet little boy who was 7.5 weeks early. Aside from the obvious blessings that resulted from the ordeal, I found myself with an extra 65 lbs and a really ugly scar. Now 44 lbs lighter I have been continually discouraged by how few people have noticed the change. It shouldn't bother me, but it does, and I find myself putting more and more time in the gym and restricting my food even more to get back "down to size".
Suddenly, it hit me. Why do I care so much what all of these other people think? There is really only one audience member that matters: God. How different would my life be if I truly lived and breathed for an audience of one?