Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's all the fuss?

I've been dealing with anger lately. It manifested itself to the point where it has caused marital conflict. Things finally came to a head one day last week and I had no choice but to deal with this anger head-on. I went before the Lord in prayer. I read many passages of Scripture. I listened to Godly council via Beth Moore studies online ("Every Day Offenses" and "Offenses That Devastate"). I requested prayer from close, trusted friends. I attempted to fast (but I didn't make it past the afternoon due to a throbbing headache. I've never been able to fast, but that's a different topic). I finally came to a point where I was able to admit - I was harboring anger. I confessed it before the Lord and repented.

Why am I sharing this with you? I've always been an open book when it comes to my struggles and I don't intend on stopping now. I know that I learn and am encouraged when others are open with me and I believe it's biblical (my interpretation of Eph. 4:2, Col. 3:13 and Romans 12:7-9). So I wanted to share with you the Bible verses and some of the insight I received that helped me:

Proverbs 19:11 "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." The word "overlook" means "To move beyond it".

James 4:1-2 "What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask."

There was quote that Beth Moore used, "Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die from it."
Matthew 6:9-15 "... forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" and "For if you forgive others their sins, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others... neither will your Father forgive you."

II Corinthians 10:3-5 talks about strongholds. A stronghold is when we become mentally hung up on something. Unforgiveness is a stronghold every time.

Matthew 6:13 is "sandwiched" between verses talking about forgiveness. Matthew 6:13 is the verse that says, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." So, if we do not forgive, then we can't expect to avoid temptation and deliverance.

"There is nothing that has greater capacity to lead us into temptation than unforgiveness."
"Every time we refuse to forgive, Satan will outwit us and he will have a scheme." Both quotes from Beth Moore, based on II Corinthians 2:10-11 and Hebrews 12:15.

It's never fun admitting sin - never. But it's much, much worse holding onto it. I'm so thankful that when I confess my sins, God is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins (I John 1:9).

Let me end with another quote from Beth Moore (sorry to those of you who don't like her) "We are never more Christ-like than when we forgive."

Luke 23:34 "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Field trip fun

The kids and I went on our last school field trip for the '08-'09 school year. We went to the Shiloh National Military Park to see where one of the many Civil War battles happened. It was a beautiful place, so open and green; but thinking of how many men died there in that one place was quite sobering. Civil War history (well, history in general) has always fascinated me. I try to comprehend what the real reason behind this war was. I still read conflicting reports and information regarding this. My post today, however, is not about why the Civil War occurred, but rather the outing that my kids and I had with other families from our home school cover.

The day was as beautiful as the scenery. Low 70's with a breeze and full sunshine. The tour entailed viewing a 25 minute video on the Battle of Shiloh. It was a video from 1957, so the quality was not very good. After the video we went to see a man dressed as a Confederate soldier give a rifle demonstration. He also explained the purpose of his uniform and gear.

Next we toured the cemetery where the Union soldiers were buried. The Confederate soldiers who died there were left in the mass graves that were dug for them - sad. After the cemetery walk we went to the book store and looked at overpriced souvenirs. Thankfully my kids didn't bug me to buy them anything (even they knew the stuff was overly priced). A picnic lunch was enjoyed after the brief shopping. The kids played freeze tag for several minutes after we consumed our lunches. Oh how I wish I had their level of energy!

Finally we loaded up in our vehicles and went on the driving tour of the rest of the battlefields. We saw monument after monument and canon after canon. The last site on the tour was the "Bloody Pond".

After leaving Shiloh, we decided to stop in Corinth, MS to go through an interactive museum. There we read even more information regarding the Civil War. It was here that I read a few things that I had never heard before, which causes me to question the whole "why did this happen"? This was a small museum, but packed full of information including several copies of letters and diary entries from the soldiers and their families. The kids viewed a couple more short videos and listened to some "eye witness" accounts portrayed by actors via recordings.

We finally started back home. This was almost a three hour drive one way, so our entire day was taken up with this one field trip. It was enjoyable and educational - just what a field trip is supposed to be!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fiddler has begun!

My daughter and me back stage.

My son and me at rehearsal.

Well, last night was opening night for Fiddler on the Roof. It is a lot of fun, but it sure is tiring. I felt like a train hit me this morning. I sure wish I had my twenty something energy back again. The kids are having a good time being in the production as well. My son has asked if we can be in another one, but I don't see that happening any time soon. We've had to make some adjustments to our appearances in order to come across as Jewish. My son and I dyed our hair a darker color. My daughter is wearing a wig. I just didn't have the heart to dye her beautiful blonde hair (even though she has begged me to). I'll be glad when my natural hair color returns. I don't care for the darker version. My son likes his, though. Opening night went very well. I think the nervous energy kept every body hopping. Tonight I was tired and I don't think I did as well, but hopefully nobody else noticed. We have five more performances before it's all said and done. I'll be glad, but at the same time I'll be sad. We have met some really great people and I will hate to say goodbye. I'm sure we'll have good intentions of keeping in touch, but you know how that goes. Of course we do have facebook in this day and age, and that will make keeping in touch with some of them easier. What did we do before facebook? ;0) I hope you enjoy the photos I've taken so far. I will try to take and post more in the future.

Before and after hair color:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Praying God's Will

I'm currently reading the book THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL by David Jeremiah. This is the second time for me to read this book. The first time was several years ago, so it really feels like the first time. I really enjoy reading this book. The author really makes Daniel more personable to me.
I wanted to share with you a passage from the book; one that has stood out above the rest (at least so far, I'm not finished reading it). It's from the 14th chapter entitled "Down on Your Knees". It reads:
"When Daniel read in the Book of Jeremiah that God was going to keep His people in captivity for seventy years and then release them, he believed it. Then a very strange thing happened. He began to pray that God would do what He was going to do. Wait a minute, if God's going to do it, why should we pray? At this point we discover one of the most tremendous principles about prayer.
God knows His plan, and even when He reveals His plan to us, He expects us to pray over that plan. The Bible says, 'If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him" (1 John 5:14-15).
Sometimes I get the impression that I have misunderstood the meaning of prayer. Prayer is not to get God to change His will. If we really believe that the will of God is perfect, then why would we want Him to change it? Our prayers really ought to be prompted out of our deep understanding of what the will of God is. There are a lot of folks who go to prayer, not to ascertain the will of God, but to ask Him to do what they want. Prayer is not getting God to adjust His program to what we want, it is adjusting our lives to the revealed will of God. When we pray, it isn't God who changes, it's us. Maybe we've been looking for change at the wrong end of the cycle."

Well, there it is. Pretty good stuff, huh?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

too much of a good thing

Well, we have had a lot of rain lately. So my garden is now under water and I'm concerned that some, if not all of it, will be lost. We have already harvested and eaten some of the lettuce, so I guess it's not a total loss. Still, all that work; I hope it'll be OK.