Journey of Faith

Strength for Today ~ Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Must-be-80-degree-weather 04/30/2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 8:08 pm

DSCN0826DSCN0800DSCN0813DSCN0823

Today’s Spring joys (though it feels like a wonderful, breezy Summer day) – We listened to the birds, sat in the sun, swung on swings, smelled freshly, mowed grass, checked in on our “pet” robin and her 4 babies, had a picnic, even played in the sand (at the park). I love days like today!

 

Working heart-ily! 04/11/2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 4:38 pm

DSCN0615

I know God wants me to learn something when He brings it to my attention more than once in just a couple weeks, and He has on this: “And whatsoever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men.
Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ.”

Surely I write out of process instead of knowledge except for what I know the Bible says. There is a difference. I read this verse, “understand” what it’s teaching even desire to implement it but not sure I know how.

My everyday job is to help my husband, nurture my kids and build my home. It involves “men”, people. I naturally love my husband so I usually want to help him. I love my kids so I desire to nurture them, and the pride of a clean home is reward in itself. If you know me, though, clean home is relative. I am not an ultra-organizer or immaculate housekeeper, our house is very lived in, but when it’s picked up to the point I feel it clean, a “clean” home is my reward. Because this is an everyday, all day job, it can become frustrating, overwhelming and mundane. When it’s dreary outside and you’ve been counting the days until Spring or more importantly, Spring weather, the frustrations get magnified.
God has helped bring a little truth to my situation that should do away with these frustrations, the ones that shout, “there is always, always, always something to clean or that needs repeated cleaning over and over again”. God has said, “you serve the Lord Christ”. Naturally, I think I’m serving my kids by constantly picking up after them or serving my husband by helping him but really if I can ask God to help me understand this truth in His Word and gain this perspective, I think this everyday job will be much easier to do and it should even bring with it joy.
Because I love my family, it’s well and good to want to please them, but when that is my only focus, it becomes overwhelming. Usually these things are done out of duty, or because it’s the right thing to do or because it will make my husband and kids happy(and I know there is an element of wanting to please God in this), but daily and “chore by chore” I want to do it heartily as to the Lord.
This morning in Ladies Bible study, there was a quote from the speaker that leaped out at me, “what you do in your home is as if you were doing it in Heaven for Jesus”. A truth, but also an encouragement to me that God used the speaker to help me just a little bit more in my understanding of “working heartily…” One thing I know about Jesus, from personal experience is that if you really desire to seek Him and find wisdom, He will show you. I am hanging on to this hope. I am in the process of this, still desiring the joy that comes from serving God over men, over and over again.

 

Touches of Spring 04/08/2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 3:47 pm

IMG0657A

The last few days the birds have been chirping louder and it seems like there are more of them singing happily to this warmer Spring weather. I am loving it too! Today we woke to rain and clouds and then a little sun shot through. As I write, it is cloudy again. This is so typical of Chicago Spring. There are variations of sun and clouds, sweaters and short sleeves. From the beginning of Spring, we’ll wait about 2 months for the consistant warm weather. I never know exactly what to wear.
Life is like this too with its ups and downs. I prefer steady when it comes to weather and emotions. Emotions, because this time of year when we have to wait longer for the sun to do its Spring work, it really begins to affect my emotions. However, I am not the author of the seasons. He knows what is best. Today, even with its clouds, we will find joy because of Christ.

(*Update)
It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day anyway. After our regular Walmart trip, we came home and played outside for a good part of the rest of the day. We ended the day with a walk to the park.

 

Psalm 36:7-8 03/24/2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 3:11 am

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
Sometimes you read the Word and it jumps out and takes a hold of your heart like it did for me today. This is a beautiful text!

Psalm 36:7-8
How excellent is thy lovingkindness , O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

 

Ahhh! Facebook!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 2:56 am

I like facebook and I don’t like facebook. At first, the guilt is, “Am I spending too much time on it?” Well, really if we compare it to how much time a person can watch TV in one evening, then no. But with facebook, it seems like everyone knows how much time you’re spending by how often you post, comment and whatever else…Then there is the fun of adding all your new “accomplishments”, “I just made the best new Filet Mignon recipe, my family loved it!” or “Johnny, just made the winning goal for his team for the 5th time in a row!” or “I have the most amazing, romantic husband in the whole wide world!” or “We are leaving soon to go to Hawaii for a month!” Then the guilt, is, “Am I bragging too much?” “Everyone else is.” “Don’t take facebook so seriously, those who care will read, maybe comment, those who don’t will ignore it.” (: Then there is me who begins to not be able to stand the perfect posts and wants to keep it real, “Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it is still snowing” Wow, I’m even a poet! Then there are the “spiritual” posts, I don’t want people to think that I think I’m some spiritual know-it-all, but I really do want to share. I still find myself really wanting to express my spiritual expressions on facebook. I’m not sure why other than, I’m really convinced that this Christian life, though downright HARD at times (*Update: I wanted to add that life in general is hard and I’m confident that having Christ in your life makes it a whole lot “easier” than not having Him in your life. I’m not sure “easier” is the right word, maybe the word is peaceful or joyful when you’re actively trusting Him.) Knowing Christ, is the best thing that has ever happened to me and there are always new discoveries so I want everyone to know how I feel about that. It is hard to verbalize spiritual things outloud perhaps because they are so personal but they are also so much a part of me. So while I have friends who have left facebook altogether for varying reasons, I certainly can respect that, I am still enjoying it for what it is to me, a social outlet, and a lot of inspiration (from the numerous Christian friends and/or organizational friends on there). So when I still find myself wanting to post more than is probably necessary, I’ll be coming over here to my blog, that way if you want to read it, you’ll know where to find it and if you don’t, you probably won’t even know that it’s here. (:

 

Thoughts from THIS Introvert… 03/19/2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 7:12 pm

I’m a deep thinker, in other words an analyser, comtemplater, sometimes think-about-it-too-mucher. I am introspective and introverted.
I like to think alot and sometimes write. Although I enjoy talking deeply, I’m not the best at finding and getting the words out of my mouth. I recently began reading a book, “Introverts in the Church” recommended by another introvert blogger. Since then I’ve been thinking about it more. Before reading the book, I’ve been tempted to think introversion was the lesser of the two personalities. I didn’t even like how it sounded, extrovert just sounded better to me. My mind has changed on that. The author did a survey asking people what personality of the two they thought Jesus had. “Surprise!” Extrovert won. However, he pointed out that Jesus probably had the perfect mixture of the two. That makes sense to me. The funny thing is, in all my effort to not feel alone in my personality, I’ve actually realized the numerous variations and vast differences among personalities. On top of introverts and extroverts there are Sanguinis, Phlegmatics, Cholerics, and Melancholies not to mention Type “A’s” and Type “B’s”. God is very creative and He has probably mixed them all well in each of us, though we tend to dominate in specific areas. There are probably people who are extroverted, Type B, Melancholies. I say this because over the years, I’ve taken tests and I think I’ve come out as an Introverted, Type B, Phlegmatic with a streak of Sanguin. Mixed up? Seems like it.
Sometimes I feel misunderstood, throw some insecurities in there and you’ll be praying for social graces alot! Introverts can be labeled too serious, too quiet, unfriendly, or stuck up as I was a lot in high school, I still hear these labels in my mind. Introverts don’t always express themselves vocally or just can’t find the words to speak them. That sounds funny. Truth is, just because we don’t show it easily, doesn’t mean we don’t have fun, love you or need a friend because we do. I’ve found that God loves to answer me with His help. Remember I mentioned praying for social graces? Seems whenever I’ve asked Him to help me in an awkward or insecure social situation, He does and times when I’ve been in need of a friend, He always brings one. He has given me so many gracious friends of all personalities.

God made introverts and He made extroverts. I believe He made us to work together. The important thing is that we are becoming, in our uniqueness, all that God intends for us. I, the introvert, phlegmatic, type B have strengths and many many weaknesses that He needs to both polish and change. The amazing thing about God is, He infinately loves us with our quirks, uniquenesses, strengths and weaknesses. He made us the way we are and He is lovingly, mercifully, and graciously filling us with good, giving us the opportunity to be all He wants us and dreams for us to be. Because I am human and made up of these feelings and sometimes insecurities, it makes me glad God can see through to the heart and though it’s not always pleasing to Him, He understands us, helps us and yes, He always loves us.

 

To Love or Not to Love 03/05/2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Journey of Faith @ 8:38 pm

In light of Valentine’s Day last month and my weekly Ladies Bible study on 1 John, I have been thinking about love a lot lately. One more thing that has me pondering love for a long time now is the past hurts others have brought to our lives because of a lack of love for us and in turn it hindering our love for God. In my study this morning of 1 John 3, I am overwhelmed with the responsibility and desire to love others more. It is the Christians main duty, next to loving God and that is to love their brothers even as Christ loved us. Wow! That is a tall order for our selfish natures. Perhaps one of best ways for God to receive glory is to work the hardest through us, love through us.
Some of us have past hurts because there may have been certain Christians that lacked this love and now I can see why it has so big an affect. When it is the Christians main responsibility next to loving God, if not done, it can have a huge impact on us, makes sense, right? Definately. How it bothers me that when I’m not loving, I’m bringing shame to the sake of the gospel. When I don’t love, I do that, I don’t want to do that but I do so often. Oh, how I plead with you to see past human failings and look into the loving heart of God. How deep, how wide, how measureless His love is for YOU! YOU!
I cautiously write on this subject because I think it can sound like I’m bitter or unforgiving of those in my past who did cause me pain (way back when) by revisisting the subject. I believe and pray that I have truly forgiven them. We all come short of where we are supposed to be so I cannot rightly judge them and what their motives were or even what shoes they were wearing at the time without properly judging myself first and foremost. I fall so very short of loving others daily. It is my desire to love others much more and through that desire God has given me, may it be said of me, one day, that I learned to love even though it will never be complete until we see Him as He is. It is and will always be a struggle…one in which we have to cling to the cross in order to love others better. It is at the receiving and filling of His love there that we can share it with others. Knowing the depths of my sin and the forgiveness I’ve been given, even the unlovable can be loved by me.
I have such a burden for those who have been turned away from anything about God because of Christians “failing” them. While love is how “they will know them”…we are human and do very human things much of the time. While we all have to take responsibility for our own actions before God, please see the way He loves you, see the gifts He gives each day, know they are from His loving heart to yours. See how He is persuing you, loving you, giving you the chance to seek Him and then amazingly, find Him. If you don’t know where to begin and this is a desire of yours, start in the Bible in the book of John and pray for a heart to see Him as He is not how anyone else has portrayed Him to you. I know people and circumstance can be a real and difficult hinderance to others seeking Jesus, but in the end, at the end of the day, it is us who lose, it is us who suffer and that is why I write this. I have felt the bitterness and anger of fake Christianity in the church which we are all capable of. On the flip side I’m indebted to those who’ve planted the seed and watered it with much love and prayer. I’m thankful God in His grace and love is so patient and still patient with me, it’s so undeserved. I’m am nothing, only desperately weak and frail without Jesus. If you have not felt this love, I beg you to look again. Look at Jesus! John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 (cool that they are so similar in reference and message to us.)