Monday, September 29, 2008

(Still Trying to Think of a Title >_<)

(Unbeknownst to you all, this originally was typed up in my word processing program using a font called “Marker Felt" in orange. Ah, iWork’08! I appreciate your free trial offer greatly and will probably be buying an actual copy for my very own once the trial is over . . .

I am also listening to Relient K’s “The Bird and the Bee Side” for, oh, the numerous-eth time. ^_^)

“Cast your vote on which master you will serve with your time, with your talents, and with your treasure.” -- Jason Germaine of downhere
(from “Ending is Beginning: Devo. #7” posted on Sept. 29/08)

There are major elections coming up on both sides of the 49th parallel and important decisions to be made. Does one vote along party lines or for an individual candidate? Who will actually carry out at least some of their campaign promises? Are there any people who are swayed by political ads? And do the politicians watch any of the ads they supposedly approve?

It’s enough to drive one kind of batty, honestly.

I was almost going to type “At least it’s clear who one should serve as a Christian!” but then I was quickly checked because, well, honestly I don’t always make the right choice in every area of my life. I feel as of late I have adopted too much of a “Do as I say, not as I do” policy which isn’t exactly being salt and light now, is it?

(Erwin McManus says it quite well: “In some sense, we are all hypocrites in transition.”)

But tying into my last entry, what is the simplicity to be found in Christ in such a situation? Do I memorize the Ten Commandments? Do I do an in-depth study on what God’s grace actually entails (oh, that would be a big undertaking!)? Do I pray and fast about it? Is the answer in the New Testament or the Old Testament? Or both? Or is all this making the situation more complicated?

One Scripture I’ve been thinking on again lately offers some good direction in the matter:

But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don't take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
-- Micah 6:8 (The Message)

I could say more, but I think this is a case of where it’s best for you (and for me!) to think on it and talk with God about it. He knows what we all need to glean from it.

As mentioned earlier, currently listening to "The Bird and the Bee Side" by Relient K.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Get a Vertical View

Many fine things can be done in a day if you don't always make that day tomorrow.

Call it what you will -- blah, indifferent, flat, or apathetic, but I was not up to much this past weekend and it was not something I care to repeat oh, ever again. I think I've had enough such moments over the course of the past 30+ years to last me for a long time.

The struggle was more acute for me, I think, this time as I was also thinking of how I have a lot to be excited about and involved in as a Christian, a wife, an administrative assistant, a writer, a volunteer, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I have wonderful news to share about Jesus, a great husband to journey through this life with, a good job, a novel in progress (with an actual outline, people!), a great church I'm a part of, great kids to teach, a really good family and some very fine friends. So why was I languishing about so during an otherwise very nice weekend?

Maybe this will shed some light on things:

18 If people can't see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
they are most blessed.

--Proverbs 29:18 (Message)

You see, I had got my focus off of God and what He was doing (and wanting to do) in my life and looking just at me. My faults. My foibles. My plans. My wants. I wasn't making sure things were lining up with His plans and His word. I was just running willy-nilly trying to figure out what I wanted to do and needed to do and was supposed to do, all the while forgetting the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3) and that if I seek to hold onto my life, I'll lose it if I'm not giving it to Christ (Matthew 10: 38-40, Matthew 16: 24-26).

Sometimes I get so frustrated with myself for still stumbling, it seems, over the same basic principles again and again. On the other hand, I could just start, oh, learning and living them.

Hmmmm . . .

Currently Listening To:

A mix 'o' stuff courtesy of 'shuffle' on my iPod

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who Are You Going to Be?

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
-- e.e. cummings

My husband and I watched the last four weeks worth of Canadian Idol's sixth season (where local boy Theo Tams was declared the winner, but where I also thought it would've been neat if Mitch MacDonald from Port Hood, NS had won), and I was struck by -- particularly during the results show -- how neat it is to see people doing something they genuinely love to do. And this is a thought I've had at various points in my adult years whether it's hearing the stories from two friends who teach kindergarten, listening to my husband talk about a song he's working on or other examples which escape me at present. >_<

I was thinking about such things again today while working on mustard receipts (I work at a processing plant where lentils, chickpeas, peas, mustard and canary seed are cleaned and shipped to various areas). I enjoy my job, I really do, but as I was thinking various what-nots I wondered "Do I want to be doing this years from now?". There is a somewhat-neglected novel in the beginning-to-middle stages on my computer; a guitar gathering dust that I'd like to truly learn how to play and many other goals, I guess, I'd like to accomplish before my time here is done (hopefully, anyway!).

Yes, God has a plan for my life. He has good thoughts He's thinking about me to give me a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

The question is am I walking in that plan? Am I passionately pursuing Him, accomplishing what He has for me to do? Am I being who He has made me to be, or am I trying to be what I think I should be or what the world around me thinks I should be at this point in my life?

Or, to divvy things into four areas my pastor talked about a little while ago during my church's weekly Bible study, I need to know:

1. Where I am.
2. Who I am.
3. Where I'm going.
4. Where to start from for #3.

Who (or whose) am I going to be?