Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs

Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfulness: Even when it hurts

Great article on being thankful by Sue Lutz...
I am thankful for so much...even though I am sad that I won't celebrate Thanksgiving with my Daddy this year, I am thankful that he is healed and that he will be celebrating the ultimate way!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Power of Words

SO, I had a GREAT week in Louisville with my hubby, the Maloys, The McConnells and the rest of the Acts 29 folks at the Ambition conference at Sojourn Church. I love spending time with Keith, love to see him enjoy the camaraderie of his fellow church planters, love the wives track, and the fellowship time at night. The only part I don't love is the tiredness after we get back home...long days and short nights of sleep. But the good SO outweighs the bad!

One of the ways we were blessed at the conference was with several great books! I got 4 new books free! One of them I took a quick glance at the other day and wanted to share some of what I read with you. Most of you who read this either have a spouse in ministry or have a pastor. I know from first hand experience how much pray is needed for and appreciated by your/our pastors.

The book is called The Power of Words and the Wonder of God by John Piper and Justin Taylor. "If God is a God of words, and if Jesus and his gospel are inseparable, then how should we - those who see to follow him - use our words?" - Look in Proverbs for great examples of godly and ungodly speech.
Then, I found this part just in the introduction by Mark Driscoll:
"Scripture specifies 4 functions of the way in which shepherds should relate to those inside and outside the church.
1. They are to feed the sheep.(Christians, the flock of Jesus the Good Shepherd)
2. Rebuke the swine (who claim to worship God but live unrepentant lives in filthy sin)
3. Shoot the wolves (heretics, false teachers, and anyone who ravages the flock and feasts on the sheep
4. Beat the dogs (who bark at God's people in an effort to control, intimidate, manipulate, use, abuse, terrify, harm, and devour them)."

"The people in the undershepherd's flock, in return, should pray for their pastor-shepherds, that God would give them: a discerning mind,
thick skin, a good sense of humor,
a tender heart,
a humble disposition,
a supportive family,
and evangelistic devotion. "

I was also reminded by Jani Ortlund this week that our tongues according to James 3 are a "restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless and curse." We must make a choice to "bridle our tongues" so that our every word praises God, instead of curses. Ephesians 4:29 says,"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, that is may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God..."

Be reminded of these words when you may be tempted to complain about church, the pastor or a multitude of things that don't satisfy you (or me). Or be reminded of these words when you are approached by someone who wants to tickle your ear with complaints about the pastor, church or music, have a choice - you can listen which may tempt you to pass this on later, or you can stop it right there with a kind word that redirects the sinful talk. (Once thing I have noticed over the years about people who complain...they are usually the ones who are not serving in the church. We need to guard ourselves and those around us, our church, from the evil gossip, complaints that can quickly divide and destroy a church and alot of people.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tis the Season, to Rethink the Season

I stole this post from Keith's blog...

Earlier this week I was checking out the Advent Conspiracy after hearing much about it and knowing almost nothing. The concept was nothing new, but some of the numbers were incredible... a solemn reminder of the consumerism of my culture - and of my own consumerism.
The Advent Conspiracy is about Christmas - and Christmas spending, but we are actually in the midst of a pre-Christmas holiday right now - Halloween. While Halloween numbers fall far short of Christmas numbers, a Time Magazine article estimates Halloween spending to be 6 BILLION dollars this year. Add to that the dollars spent on enormous Fall Festivals sponsored by churches and quite frankly the numbers are sickening.
Watch this video from the Advent Conspiracy and tell me what you think...