Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A look back at my New Year's Resolutions

This is the time of the year when people stop and evaluate their lives. The look at the New Year's Resolution's they made last year, see if they accomplished what they set their minds to do. New Year's Resolutions....
I'm not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions... they seem somewhat petty, like you can't just do stuff during the year, you have to wait till January to start something right.  But last year I decided, why not. I'll just try anyway see what the big deal is. I made two resolutions; easy ones I figured wouldn't be too hard to keep.

#1 - Work on my relationship with God
#2 - Exercise

I figured the first would be a pretty much no-brainer, except I wanted to do it a lot.  I thought I would work towards the place where you are;
 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; " - Ephesians 6:18
Well, I didn't get there, but all throughout this past year, I kept thinking about the resolution I had made to
"...press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:14 and it would spur me on in God.

The second resolution was a bit harder to keep.  I wanted to exercise more and not because I wanted to lose weight and look like a model, but because I knew I wasn't in the best physical shape and I knew exercising would be good for me.  Well... sometime early this year I almost herniated a disk in my back and was put on restrictions for several weeks.  So that x'd any thoughts for exercising for a while.  After that I was just busy and too lazy to try and exercise.  Then, when I was seriously trying to fit it back into my schedule, I locked my hip.  And yep, that x'd exercising for another few weeks.  After that I decided that was enough, I'm just going to do it.  I need to get my body back into shape so I'm not getting hurt!!  I bought a DVD so I could exercise at home and not have to go to a gym or try running (which I stink at).  I've started doing it a couple times a week.  And you know what, not only am I enjoying it, but I'm noticing a difference.  I feel better, I don't get winded as much and I walk taller, more confidently and I haven't hurt myself since the locked hip.  Plus, I'm not a big fan of the music on the DVD so I try to pray while I'm exercising. It's not bad music, just not my preferences.

So all in all, my resolution to have New Year's Resolutions turned out pretty well. I got somewhere with them.  My final thoughts on the subject. Am I a fan of resolutions?  Yes, and No.  Yes, as a person who enjoys rising to a challenge, absolutely; it spurred me to do something and keep with it.  No, I don't think they are for everyone and it depends on the resolution, don't just think of something; put thought into it, decide to do something you actually WANT to do. Ditch New Year's, start it NOW.  Make resolutions all the time to push on in God, to Do Hard Things and allow God to make a difference in your life and the lives around you.  Resolve to let God consume your life into His will.

Philippians 3:13-14  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


Friday, December 25, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

"I wish I'd never been born."

The familiar line from the classic Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life". Have you ever thought that? Wondered if you've made a difference in a life? Figured that you could never make as big of an impact as George Bailey did? But, did you ever stop and think about it, looked at your life through different eyes Have you ever tried to look at your life as God does?

My "It's a Wonderful Life" experience happened over a month ago and I'm afraid it's not nearly as entertaining as George Bailey's. But, it's certainly made me stop and assess my life. I was talking to mom about my life. Bemoaning the fact that I didn't feel like I had accomplished anything. That I didn't make much of a difference in the lives of the people around me. Mom of course had encouraging words, she started pointing out things that I did that make a difference, and some of them I agreed with. I might not see a huge difference, but there are the little ones here and there. Like going into work everyday. I'm not a nurse, I don't save lives everyday, I merely feed people, smile and say 'Have a nice day!'. One day there was a benefit in town for a man who has a rare form of cancer. We had donated a bunch of food for the benefit and I was on the phone talking to the lady in charge of the benefit. She had some questions about picking it up and such. Before hanging up she told me that we were just wonderful. I believe the word she used was angels. We had made a difference in her life just by a simple act. What about you? It is possible that your smile changed someone's life yesterday. Yes it's possible that your life touches just as many people as George Bailey's did.

Here's another thought; what if you'd never become a Christian? If just a smile makes a difference, changes someone's day, or maybe even their life, can you imagine what a difference having God in your life makes for other people? The gift of Jesus in your life makes the difference. If Jesus had never been born, or decided to not get on the cross and die for our sins, we would all be lost. Stop and think about it. Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Take a moment to thank God for the gift of His son. And take a moment to look at your life through God's eyes. It truly is a Wonderful Life.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

While You Were Sleepin'

John 14:2-6 (ESV)

"In my Father's house are many rooms.
If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

"And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and will take you to myself,
that where I am you may be also.

"And you know the way to where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going.
How can we know the way?"

Jesus said to him,
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In the winter

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.

Those lines are from Christina Rossetti’s poem “In the Bleak Midwinter.” They’re so evocative of winter with its barrenness, its frozen landscape. I get cold quickly, so maybe it’s just me, but winter’s a hard time of year for me. I long for warmth and greenness and beauty: all the things that winter doesn’t have.

In short, I wish I were anywhere but here, in any time but this one.

And that’s how Rossetti starts her poem: with the earth hard as iron, water like a stone. It’s not where she ends, though. She goes on to say:

Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God incarnate,
Jesus Christ.

Into the midst of all of this barrenness, Christ came. Now, I know that the actual date of Christ’s birth is debated, but let’s lay aside that debate for the moment. Because the image of Christ coming into the midst of a world that is winter is true. He came and made all things full of life.

It’s kind of humbling, isn’t it? Here I am, complaining about my cold hands, and there’s Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, coming down and being born as a human, to save us all. Not just us, but all of creation. How awe-some is that?

So, maybe in this cold season I should stop complaining. Maybe I should start trying to make just a tiny bit of Christ’s warmth in this frozen world. Maybe I should do what Rossetti says: “Give my heart.”


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Investing in Lives

 Last night we watched "It's a Wonderful Life."  I'm assuming most of you have seen this movie, so there will be spoilers in this post... just warning you.

I walked away from the movie and fell asleep comfy-cozy in my bed  while the temperatures outside dived below zero.  And I thought about it before I fell asleep and when I woke up this morning I was still thinking about George Bailey. 

The man gave everything away.  Not just his money, not just his time, but his dreams too.

I love the part when he's getting ready to leave on his honeymoon and he gets delayed because of the bank run.  As soon as his wife shows up with his life savings he runs to begin distributing it to people in need.  And not because they really NEED the money.  After all, as he's already informed them, they could walk into Potters office and get half their money in 5 minutes.  He does it to save his father's business (which he hates) and to save these people from making a bad investment with Potter. My sisters and I looked at each and asked "Do you think he ever got that money back?"  I don't think he did.  Maybe eventually... over time.  But, did he ever have that $2000 lump sum again?  I highly doubt it. 

Countless times he gives up what he wants or plans in order to do something that appears to be the best thing at the time... for everyone else.

I was struck for the first time with George Bailey's attitude.  He so obviously does NOT want to make a lot of the sacrifices that he makes.  But, he makes them in spite of himself.

And that brings me to Do Hard Things..  We've been reading this book in our Bible Study lately and I'm finding something inspiring in every chapter.  But, mostly I'm convicted by the entire of concept of those three words.  Do. Hard. Things.

In other words, Don't do the easy thing, when you have an option to do something harder.

George Bailey's hard things just kept piling up, making the hard things he did harder and harder.  But, every hard thing he did was an investment in another person's life.  Every hard thing HE did made someone else's life a little better and a little easier.  He was making investments in people's lives.  The kind of investments that aren't easily forgotten because they start as tiny seeds and grow and grow.  Little by little he bought the kind of friends that are just waiting and watching for an opportunity to give back.  So, ultimately, though everything he did was for others, HE was the mnost blessed in the end.

And as Clarence says: "No man is a failure who has friends."

What kind of investments are YOU making?


Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas/Winter Craft

Remember that totally adorable Thanksgiving Craft that Rebecca did? Well here is a totally adorable Christmas/winter craft.

You can find the original directions and better pictures here. I was trying to help two children make snowflakes and take pictures at the same time.

It's pretty simple, you need 6 squares of paper, tape, scissors, stapler, and glitter (opt.)

For the smaller snowflake I cut a 8.5 piece of paper in half and then made the squares.

Fold the square into a triangle and cut into it 3 times on each side.  Make sure to leave a space at the top of the pyramid, don't cut all the way so the cuts meet.

Decorate (opt)

Unfold and roll center diamond, tape.

Roll next diamond opposite direction, tape

Continue with all 6 diamonds until you have the 6 "arms" of the snowflake.

Hold 3 of the "arms" together by one end and staple to make half of the snowflake.  Ditto with other 3.

Hold 2 halves together by stapled ends and staple together creating 1 complete snowflake.  Then staple the
arms together where they meet.

We did 8 squares and while it makes a dense more detailed snowflake it's hard to get your fingers and the stapler in there!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peanut Butter Balls

PERFECT for the holidays!

1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
chocolate bark

Mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar by hand to form a stiff dough.  Shape into balls.  Refrigerate.  Melt chocolate bark in microwave.  Dip balls in chocolate.  Refrigerate.  Serve.



Friday, December 11, 2009

Do or Don't

Our Bible Study group has been reading through Do Hard Things.   Granted the study is mostly adults, there is actually only one of us who is still technically a "teen".  But we're reading it anyway, and applying it to life as an adult.  An Adult Rebellion Against Low Expectations :-)  I was working through the chapter for this week when I ran across this passage:

Lindsey is a "good girl" who seemingly never does anything wrong.  She won't watch R-rated movies, wears a promise ring her dad gave her on her thirteenth birthday, and won't even date (or "court," as she puts it) until she's ready to get married.  It doesn't make her highly popular among some of her peers, but she cares more about what the adults in her life think.  And they praise her constantly - usually while they bemoan all the "bad stuff" other teens today are involved in.
She loves it when she gets compliments for being such a "wonderful girl," but when Lindsey is honest, she knows she's become exceptional for what she doesn't do. She doesn't attend wild parties, cause trouble, or want a tattoo. But what does she do? Is the Christian life all about avoiding "bad stuff" or is it about doing "good, hard stuff" for God?  Deep down Lindsey knows the answer, but she's already praised for being such a godly girl. Isn't that enough?

The words jumped off the page and smacked me over the head.  I can completely relate.  I know the feeling all to well.  So here's the thoughts..

Are you (and me) known for the things we do or the things we don't do?
And what kind of things can you or we do to change that?

I'm going to leave you with one thing.  Just a little encouragement for all of us.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Tomorrow Promise

It is truly one of God's many mercies that He always promises us a fresh tomorrow morning.

[His mercies] are New
every morning: 
great is Thy faithfulness
-Lamentations 3:23

As I told a friend the other day "Sometimes when I've had a bad day or I'm lonely... I don't delay going to bed.  The sooner I can start tomorrow morning the better."

Because as Anne Shirley says:
"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is always new... with no mistakes in it."

Thank you God for Tomorrows. 


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

George Mueller's Faith

"If God fails me at this time, 
it will be 
the first time."
-George Mueller

This from the man who:

  • Began his ministry caring for orphans with 2 shillings in his pocket. 
  • Built 5 large orphanages.
  • Cared for over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime
  • In 1834 there were accomadations for only 3,600 orphans in England and twice that many orphans under the age of eight were in prison.  50 years later, through George Mueller's hard work and dedication England was able to care for over 100,000 orphans.
  • Became a travelling missionary (a lifelong dream of his) at the age of 70 and continued for the next 17 years.
  • Travelled to 42 countries preaching on average once a day often to crowds of 5,000.
  • Read his Bible cover to cover more than 200 times.  
  • Took in donations for several million dollars for the orphans without once asking anyone for money.
  • Gave up his small salary when he discovered it was paid for by the rental of church pews and didn't  take a salary for the next 68 years.
  • Never took out a loan or went into debt.
  • The orphans never went hungry although several times they prayed over empty plates, only to have food arrive at the last moment.
  • Founded 117 schools.
  "The beginning of anxiety is 
the end of faith, 
and the beginning of 
true faith
is the end of anxiety."
-George Mueller

"Now faith is the 
substance of things 
hoped for, 
the evidence of 
things not seen."
-Hebrews 11:1


Blog Archive


The IDD Blog | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Dandy Dandilion Designed by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates