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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Call Accepted

Living in this house for the last eight years has been a dream. Don't get me wrong, there are things about my house I don't like...the kitchen and bathroom cabinets are white along with the counters (which makes them really hard to keep clean and nice looking), no hardwood floors except in the foyer, I wish I had one more room, and what woman doesn't want a bigger kitchen? But, it is nice and cozy with a fireplace and two HUGE storage sheds in the backyard. I love the split bedroom plan too! And my laundry room is just the perfect size!

I say all this to say, for the most part, I do
n't like change. I am perfectly content to live in the same house (especially since I used to move a lot when I was in college and I first started teaching), stay married to the same wonderful man, attend the same church and keep the same lifelong friends. However...sometimes a change of scenery is good for everyone.
I have gone from being a teacher to a stay-at-home-mom to a private tutor to a children's ministries coordinator to a student to a teacher to a maid to an administrative secretary to an...interim worship director. jobs keep changing like the seasons (if you live in a place like Georgia where I can relate to the seasons changing comment...ha ha). In the past five years I feel like the Lord has moved me all over the place as far as jobs
go. In this economy, I am most thankful for that.

Last Sunday I began my first official Sunday as our church's interim worship director. about OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
I have heard that in order to achieve success, you have to step out of that comfort zone. I am not looking for success...I am only looking to do what the Lord has asked of me. In that, I find full satisfaction. I am honored (even though I am a bit afraid and uncomfortable) that He has chosen me to use some talents He has given me to glorify Him! So, I am on a journey in 2011...a journey I never would have thought I would be on. A journey that is a change for me...but a change that is a call I have willingly accepted!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Out of my Comfort Zone

A couple of Sundays ago, my husband preached a message on the "Idol of Control." (You can click here to read his blog/sermon if you want). I've written previous posts on my control issue. It is embarrassing, really, just how much of a control freak I am! For instance, just to give you a glimpse into the life of me...the control freak:

  • the toilet paper roll ALWAYS has to be facing over, not under

  • when Kevin is driving at night and he has his bright lights on, I often have to sit on my hands so as to not reach over and turn them off (when I see he's not doing it "fast enough") as on oncoming car approaches

  • I'm an interrupter...poor Kevin...he hardly ever gets to finish a sentence

  • shower curtains need always be CLOSED when not in use

  • I do the finances...'nough said

I could go on and on and on. I have researched this little issue of mine some, and from what I've found, people who, as children, were often not able to control perilous situations in their lives (I was adopted at age four...bad situation...I'll blog about it some day) often take an over-controlling roll as an adult. Yep. That's me!

I think it is awesome that God has a sense of humor. I am so thankful for His amazing grace that I so do not deserve. I have been made all to aware of my control issue for quite some time now. God's sense of humor comes in to play right when I'm all to aware of my need for healing in this control area of my life. He has asked me to do something that I am not at all comfortable with. It is going to be a challenge...and since it is not in my comfort zone, I have no choice but to let HIM be in control. I don't know quite how to be in control of this situation. I am insecure about it, but know He has called me to do this. I will blog more about it in January, but if you do read this blog, can you join me in praying that I will be able to relinquish control to Him and rely on Him through this change in my life? I would greatly appreciate it!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I just wanted to post a few pictures of our last couple of days in Gatlinburg. It was a beautiful time and I'm already missing it and looking forward to next year! This first one I took while we were out on a walk through the beautiful Smoky Mountains after our Thanksgiving meal. The contrast of the green moss against the brown leaves and foliage was beautiful to me!

We stumbled upon a beautiful creek bed while out walking. This = SERENITY!

Thank goodness for my camera's automatic picture taking abilities! I set Kevin and Kameron up on the rocks, pushed the button, and barely scrambled into the picture myself in time for it to be taken. I think it turned out pretty good! In fact, we're using this one in our Christmas card pictures this year.

Me and my little monkey!!

On our last night, the sunset was literally breathtaking. God's painted masterpiece. It went quick, but we were able to grab some pics before it sunk behind the mountains. This is something I'll never forget!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Amazing FREE Gift for Christmas!

I thoroughly enjoy working with the Young Adults at my church. They are a great bunch...all at various stages in their lives. With the Christmas season coming up...I started thinking about gifts that we have to purchase and how expensive they can be. Everything seems to add up and it is tough, especially for those who are just starting their adult lives, to buy everything we need or want to buy. This year, I am going to talk to them about a FREE gift that will be one of the best ones they've ever encountered...but this gift is not for someone will be for them. It is the gift of Forgiveness.

Some people are under the misconception that forgiving someone means you are weak and if you forgive that means you are letting the other person "win." That is simply not so.

Someone once said, "To err is blame it on someone else is more human." Sometimes we justify our lack of forgiveness because it is so easy...we tell ourselves the other person just doesn't deserve our forgiveness.

I'm sure you remember the story of the massacured Amish children of 2006? In the early October morning of 2006 in Nickel Mines, PA, 32 year old gunman, Charles Roberts, entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse. 25 students stood shocked and fearful as Mr. Roberts made the boys and teacher go outside, leaving only 10 girls locked inside with him. He shot them all, execution style, after tying their legs, then turned the gun on himself. Five survived, but were critically wounded. When asked why he would do such a thing by one of the little girls, he stated, "I am angry at God for taking my little daughter." The blood was barely dry in the schoolhouse when the Amish families of the victims came out with their news of forgiveness. In fact, the news of their forgiveness overshadowed the tragedy in more than 2,400 news stories worldwide. Fresh from the funeral of their daughters, the grieving Amish made up 1/2 of the 75 people who attended Charles Robert's funeral. Robert's wife and three children were most touched and surprised. In fact, the Amish forgiveness gesture went beyond the funeral...they set up a fund to support Roberts' grieving widow.

Forgiveness does not mean you are weak. Forgiveness is Dismissing a Debt. I am not saying this debt is not owed, but you forgive it none the less. Instead of being controlled, you are able to take control.

Luke 6:27 says, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." When you "let someone off the hook" by forgiving them, you are putting them on God's hook. God is a God of justice. Let Him seek vengence, not you.

Imagine you are an olymipc track runner preparing for the race. As you gain your momentum, ready to take off, you look, and fastened to your leg is a heavy, cumbersome ball and chain with a lock. Racing becomes impossible. You are no longer a are burdoned with weight. But then imagine, right before the gun shot sounds to announce the race is beginning, someone rushes along to you and hands you the key that will unlock the chain. That key to unlatch the baggage is FORGIVENESS. Instead of a heavy ball, it turns into a helium balloon and floats away.

In order to be Christlike, we must forgive, just as He forgave us. Forgiveness is not justified...just because you forgive someone does not mean you are saying that what they did to you is okay. Forgiveness is just your gift to yourself allowing you to release baggage you dont' need in your life.

So often, when we do forgive, we expect something back. "He should at least say he's sorry," you might think. When you forgive someone, and release the baggage, you also release your right to get even or to hear "I'm sorry." Romans 12:17 states, "Do not repay evil for evil." You release your right to dwell on the offense. Proverbs 17:9 explains it well: "Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."

Do you know what the difference between Grace and Mercy is? It is like two sides of a coin. Grace means you give someone a gift they don't deserve. Mercy is not giving them what they do deserve. Take a minute to read those two sentences again and let it sink in. Thank about it...we have been extended both grace and mercy through Christ's dying on the cross...and we don't deserve either of we?

When the disciples asked Christ to teach them how to pray, it is interesting in Matthew 6:12 that Christ answers them with this model: "Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors."

I'll leave you with one last thought...Do you want to be forgiven in the same way you have forgiven others?