musings of a hopefilled soul

Archive for February, 2012

The Grandkids

This weekend my husband and I had the pleasure of watching four of our grandchildren.  My daughter in law brought the kids on Friday early evening and they stayed with us Friday and Saturday nights.  The kids are ages 8, 6,4, and almost 2.  Needless to say we prepared for a wild, busy and fun weekend.

Preparing meals is always an adventure.  We have plans to eat healthy but it seems they quickly go out the window.  Chicken nuggets, fries, mac and cheese, and pizza are givens.  Breakfast can be cereal, bananas, hey that is pretty good!  The donuts, cookies and ice cream go fast.  I will say however, my grand-kids drink milk and water and no soda!  Can you imagine that?  I keep reminding their parents that no drinking soda is huge.

Aside from food the weekend is always busy with activities.  “Grandma can I color, Grandma can I go on the computer, Grandma can I play games on your phone, Grandma can we watch a movie, Grandma can we go to the library, and the ultimate Grandma I’m bored!”  If you have grand children you know the up and the down side of having them around is they always want you to do activities with them.  Play the game, watch the movie, see what they found on the computer, read to them, hold them, settle disputes over who had the toy first.  For the most part it is way good!!

Baths are always exciting, trying to give 4 children time to play in the water and then get cleaned up and ready  for the next one,.

My husband and I always try to take them to church.  I don’t want my grandchildren to think we aren’t church attenders just because it is a little bit of a challenge to get everyone ready.  As parents we did this without a thought because as kids grow you just have to prepare them to go with you or you would never leave your home.  As grandparents it is more a labor of love.  You hope you brought enough quiet activities for them to do yet hope that a few words of the children’s sermon get through to them.  I always feel that even though we are not sure what the children or us get out of church on some Sundays,that our spirits are ministered to by the Holy Spirit as we are obedient to him in going to his house.

By Sunday afternoon the wind up begins.  Collecting the toys, making plans for their return to their parents and getting ready for some quiet time for Grandpa and Grandma.  My son picked up the grand-kids after visiting for a while and headed for home.

The first 1/2 hour is busy sweeping, picking up and getting everything back in order.  Then the quiet sets in and in the recesses of my mind I think about the little voices all clamoring for my attention.  I process with joy the excitement they experience when told they are going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the weekend as well as the anticipation they feel when told we hope they can come again soon.  When all is quiet,I become melancholy realizing the time is flying by and what little time we have with them at this age is indeed fleeting.

Lord help me to cherish this time and enjoy it fully.  May my grandchildren look back fondly with memories of love and being loved.  May your image be imprinted on my life and be a wonderful reflection of your love for them.

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Aside

I have been und…

I have been under Christian Bible teaching most of my life and am consistent in reading and studying the Bible on my own. While I have no degree in theology, I feel I’m a good judge of teaching that is good as well as teaching that is gone awry. If I question someone’s teaching I spend time using different translations and consulting respected commentaries, and asking for God’s help to understand the correct interpretation .  Several days ago I decided to check online to see reviews of several of my favorite Bible teachers and speakers.  Hesitantly I typed in the name of Beth Moore and her reviews.  I have been listening to Beth Moore for several years now.  I find her refreshing.  She has no personal agenda in mind to do what she does except to be a help to others in their growth in God.  She comes across very genuine and humble. For some time now I have  been praying for God’s wisdom in all matters and I can say without a doubt I have not felt any misgivings regarding Beth. Imagine my surprise to find a great deal of criticism of Beth and her teaching.  On one site the moderator is listening to a tape of Beth’s teaching regarding confidence.  The moderator only allowed a few words of the tape to play before already picking it apart.   While I feel the need to interpret the Bible correctly, I doubt there is anyone we agree with all the time.  In this particular instance I felt the moderator was misinterpreting what Beth was saying and possibly looking for things for which to be critical. Others comment on her teaching to be not in depth and still others are caught up in the idea that some men sit in on her teaching.  While we need to rightly divide the word of truth, it needs to be done in a humble and caring manner, recognizing that most of these teachers are also “God’s anointed”.  I believe God is a God of balance and anytime doctrine gets out of balance it needs to be questioned, but lets be careful with such severe criticism lest we discourage those who are doing what God has told all of us to do,” Go forth and preach the gospel to all nations.”Different faith groups interpret scripture differently when a passage is unclear.  I believe God does that to get us to seek him ernestly to understand scripture correctly.  Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, Chuck Swindoll,  I have been so blessed and helped by all of your teachings and pray God’s best for you as you give your abilities in service to Him knowing how critical people can be.  May you do all you can to please the Lord and teach as he has instructed you.  Even Christ had his doubters. I think you are in pretty good company.       

Sunday evening

Sunday evening being totally bored with TV, I did what I seldom do and ordered Pay Per View on Satellite.  I ordered the movie “Courageous”.  It is a movie with a religious theme and is based on a father’s decision to become a more Godly father after a tragic loss in his family.  His male friends all decide together to make a resolution to become more Godly fathers. Each signs a resolution they for which they have publicly sworn to uphold .  The movie is gripping, sad, funny and thought provoking.  I enjoyed it tremendously and would have watched it again were it not so late at night.  Why are not movies like this made more often.  Ones that promote goodness instead of bad behaviours.  You may feel that I live in an idealistic rather than realistic world.  Does the movie show men who are a little too perfect? It really is pretty good about that as one of the men wressles with making a bad decision that eventually lands him in prison.   No we are not perfect people and we are all in need of God’s help to become someone better today than we were yesterday. Is it so wrong to promote in movies people who could be someone we could emulate in real life. Doesn’t real life become a little too real at times?  In Philippians 4: 8 and 9, the Bible tells us ” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”  Fixing our minds on what these scriptures ask us to focus on will bring us peace.  Therefore the opposite of that would be that thinking on unholy things will bring unrest.  No one is promoting that we wear blinders or rose colored glasses to view the world.  There is good and bad in the world.  Maybe we can focus more on the good.        

Aside

Awesome God

I have been taking a Beth Moore bible study called Believing God.  At this point in the study Beth is discussing miracles.  There is a debate among Bible experts whether miracles are for today or if they were just intended for Bible times.  The debate is not that God is not able but that it is just not done today.  Beth takes us through the Bible verses that support God’s continued desire to perform miracles today.  She points out that we need to remember that God is sovereign.  While he can perform a miracle he still can make the decision to withhold the same if he has a different plan.  Our faith or lack thereof can also restrict and prevent miracles being performed.  Throughout the readings in lesson three of Believing God, Beth inserts people who have had personal miracles in their lives.  The most dynamic in my viewpoint was the healing of Duane Miller. I had heard of this healing on a Christian radio program about 15 years ago. Duane was a minister who developed a throat problem that caused him to lose his normal speaking voice, allowing him to only be able to talk in a whisper,  He resigned his church after taking months off to rest his voice without any improvement.  For over three years he consulted doctors and specialists, followed recommendations that might work and yet his condition worsened.  He was to the point of despair. After much prodding from his church he begins teaching a Bible study. Extra sensitive microphones were required to pick up his whispered voice. Duane taught the class for some time and his voice continued to get worse.  On one particular day he taught on Psalms 103 which refers to God being the one who forgives ALL our sins and heals ALL our diseases. As he is teaching God dramatically heals him.  This is all documented on tape.  You can find the actual tape on the Internet.  It is so powerful!   I get emotional every time I hear it.  Our God is AWESOME AND MIGHTY and we often limit what he can do.  We/I need to remember he is the same God who literally spoke this world into existence.  His is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He says “I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6. His power is not diminished today. Today may we recognize the untapped resources of God.   May we seek the one who can work the miracles and not just the miracles themselves. May we recognize that the greatest miracle of all is the transformation he can perform in our lives by forgiving our sins and making us a new creation in Christ!

Aside

It has been a f…

It has been a few days since I have posted anything.  Taking some time away for events going on in life. I also needed the time to process what I’m doing.  I want to see a clearer path ahead of me.  I feel God directed me away from a profession I had practiced all of my adult life.  He seems to be directing me to use what talents and abilities I have to pursue a speaking and writing ministry.  As I blogged last time I wonder how I will be at this.  I purchased Charles Swindoll’s book, “Saying it well”  I am halfway thru it and finding it to be confirming of the feelings and thoughts I had as God was directing a career change in my life.   Somehow I feel that preparation is something I am needing.  I need to discipline myself to do some focused study in the Bible.  I have had great Bible teaching all my life but find you can never have enough.  I feel doing this will give me the ability to have something to speak and write about.   So I will keep this post short and begin focusing more directly on studying the Bible.

Aside

I’m new at thi…

I’m new at this whole blogging thing but I am confident it will help me develop my writing skills.  Getting my thoughts and feelings out there is important.   A new venture can be a daunting task.  Where do I start to begin this speaking and writing I feel called to do.  Whats more, I am not published writer at this time.  I have done some public speaking in the past but is was very topic specific.  I am told by people who know me that I am good at speaking publicly but how does that translate into  a public speaking profession. As I wrote in my last post, I am really exploring and seeking the wisdom of God in this new venture.  I have  also been exploring the internet and searching other blogs for ideas.  In gathering information I came across the blog of Sheila Wray Gregoire at http://christianwomensspeaker/wordpress.com. She has some  information I’m finding to be helpful on this topic. On a personal note with Sheila, I was having some trouble being able to open a file I downloaded from her. I found Sheila to be present, helpful , persistent  and kind in helping to solve the problem.   

Several years ago I also received information from Kathy Collard Miller on professional speaking and writing.  I guess it comes down to the hard task of  getting past writers block.  I am afraid of making a mistake but I need to take the chance and just write something .  I guess that refers to stepping out of my comfort zone and putting the post out there.  All of you experienced bloggers can shoot me any ideas and encouragement. It would be greatly appreciated.  I wonder “Will I be any good at this?” Even with these doubts, a blog seems like a logical place to begin.  I can create and hone writing posts and face the true work and enjoyment writing can be.

Rad Change

Wisdom

I have been looking for God’s direction, guidance, and his wisdom as I change directions in my life.  In studying scripture I discovered the Bible has a lot to say about wisdom and those who seek it versus those who reject seeking it.  First of all I find that to fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.   Ps 111:10 This is repeated a number of times throughout scripture.  Must be important, right?  Fear is further defined in this context as holy awe and reverence of the God who spoke this world into existence and yet desires to be involved in every part of the lives of insignificant human beings.  Joseph Prince gave a great demonstration of one of the passages from Proverbs on wisdom.  He asked the audience to envision a person you are going to embrace.  That person is wisdom and when we seek wisdom which also equates to seeking God, the right hand holds long life and the left hand holds riches and honor.   Many seek riches and honor or a long life instead of seeking wisdom.  The Bible implores us to seek Godly wisdom.  When we seek or embrace Godly wisdom  the arms of wisdom embrace us back.  Long life and riches and honor are added.  These benefits of wisdom can come in this life but also may refer to the riches, honor and long life we receive in our heavenly home as well.  In Proverbs 3 God emphasizes how important wisdom is in saying it is more profitable than silver and yields returns better than gold.  God also says in this same passage of scripture that nothing you desire compares with her(wisdom).  Those who lay hold of her (wisdom) will be blessed.  Think of all of the things we do and could desire in our lives and yet NOTHING compares to wisdom.  Today I will make seeking Godly wisdom my priority.