Monthly Archives: March 2011

The to – do list.

Last night was a great night. Michelle and Paul Martindale rocked our world with advice, derby pie and hospitality.

Today I woke up, made a to do list and started doing stuff. Mailed letters. Started to pay bills and look at tax stuff online. Figured out the YMCA is a bad idea and fitcorps locked me in til May. Took 4 bags of my clothes (time to live simply!) to goodwill. Rachael left me at Carmen’s apt. in Porter/Harvard sq. Carmen and I walked to the store, bought ingredients, walked by the Wilson House, stole trash from the front yard (box of Bibles and new bulletin board = treasure for me) made OMELETS and got to work. Updated http://www.familyfocus.wordpress.com all day. Talked over organizational stuff.

Walked home (six miles) — regretted it. Stopped in at a store that was closing and got glue sticks and paper and EXCITED. Went to Trader Joes. Mistake. Big grocery bag for 4 miles. :D.

Came home and GOT ALL CRAFTY. helped scoop muffins. I’m learning to make things with my hands! 😀 muffins and cards and creativity. <3. <3. <3. .

I'm exhausted! Cutting magazines and gluing things makes me sleepy–night.

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The weekend

Wanted to document in case i almost FORGOT.

left work. hit stop n shop. got food. went home. helped cook and clean and set up OUTSIDE for dinner. candles, cleaned chairs…APPETIZER TABLE.

hosted april and medhi for dinner on our porch. wonderful night. inside for tea and cake.

morning: cleaned room, did laundry, cleaned bathroom, cleaned kitchen. looked for apts, went to nishas, prayer, singing, encouraging. chilled with United pursuit band. Hung out. SLEEPOVER.

amazing dinner, million cookies and peach o’s and watching 1984 done by highschoolers (AMAZING JOB, Boston Trinity Academy!)…

talkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalkingtalking til late with olivia, amanda, audrey :D.

chocolate croissant and strawberry breakfast by Stephanie.

Set up, church, panera Easter planning, TURKISH FESTIVAL!, thrift shopping, allston exploring, BDAY PARTY! Autotune and taboo festival at the party—

skype.

night.

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I need to compare myself to Jesus

If I compare myself to Jesus two things happen:

1.) I remember who is on my side, and no matter how much i mess up, He was the one who made me and will take care of me.

2.) I suddenly don’t think I’m better than anyone around me at anything at all.

It’s funny, when one struggles with pride–at least in my case—ok ok, when I STRUGGLE WITH PRIDE (i said it) it can go in various directions. First I notice something I am doing well–like time management, discipline, getting up early, juggling many things at a time and still finding time to read books, you get the idea. Then I feel like I’ve got this down and wow, things are awesome. I give God some glory and also myself.

Then i realize ALL the things I’m NOT good at: 1.) running 2.) public relations (aka my job), 3.) juggling 1000 things (since they soon get dropped), 4.) not eating ice cream at night, 5.) focusing my thoughts on Jesus and not other things, 6.) keeping my foot out of my mouth, 7.) playing guitar.

And i think “man. I am horrible. after all this time I should be better by now..”

What pride this is–what self-centered garbage! I could fix my thoughts outside. I could worship God and lie down before him and say holy holy holy thank you GOD for making it so i can live, and worship and be with you forever! Life is good! I am blessed! Thank you thank you thank you, you are beautiful, forever, and perfect. You never make mistakes, you help me when i stumble, and you have great plans. all my success is from you and all my mistakes you help to clean up. My righteousness is as filthy rags, God! I could come to him as a child and fall down and say “WHY are you patient with me? But you are and I will bow down and humbly pray to you–may your praise be always on my lips–i cant stop singing your praise”.

But some days i just self-analyze and try to better myself. I never feel fully “better than others”. I sometimes feel 100 percent worse than others. But often i feel both, better in some areas than the majority and worse in many ways—comparison is SO evil, so dangerous.

Rather than making sure i’m in line with those around me, why not look to God for his thoughts on the matter? Not just asking what he thinks and not asking others–but opening the Word and asking God how i line up in his scriptures. But better yet, why not forget the whole thing altogether sometimes and just worship Jesus? Everything else looks meaningless after i look to him. Empty vessel. thats what i am. Help me get it, God!

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I decided there was a greek word i had to research

http://strongsnumbers.com/greek/25.htm

This is from the famous: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…

I wondered if it’s possible that it means like “Serve” or “Respect”, since it’s hard to say “I love God more than I love my parents”. Isn’t that like apples and oranges? I’d like to say I love God BY loving people, but this changed my mind on it back to what I knew deep down, all along—He wants us to really love him and take pleasure in being with Him like we would with our closest friends and family…only more so—and to do what HE prefers. Wow.

to love
Original Word: ἀγαπάω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: agapaó
Phonetic Spelling: (ag-ap-ah’-o)
Short Definition: I love
Definition: I love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem.

Cognate: 25 agapáō – properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to “live through Christ” (1 Jn 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power. 25 (agapáō) preeminently refers to what God prefers as He “is love” (1 Jn 4:8,16). See 26 (agapē).

With the believer, 25 /agapáō (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (by His power and direction). True 25 /agapáō (“loving”) is always defined by God – a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection” (WS, 477). 1 Jn 4:8,16,17 for example convey how loving (“preferring,” 25 /agapáō) is Christ living His life through the believer.

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love appetizers!

1 Cor. 8:3:
But the man who loves God is known by God.

A wise girl explained to me during a staff meeting recently that God is love.
If I want to understand love, I need to learn more about God.

So today I thought about loving God. It’s harder for me than it should be and here’s a hypothesis of why. Here’s how i view love:

1 Corinthians 13: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

Now. Do i love God? No where near what He deserves, but yes. But that lack of love is because I am human, right?

Then — I asked myself questions from the passage: Am I patient with him? (lightning strikes my brain and I realize..NO.) Am I kind to Him? (Whatever we do to the least of these we do TO JESUS). Do i envy him? Am I easily angered at Him? (Can be. Don’t think I should ever be though–I do not believe being mad at God is wise or ok, but it’s happened.) He HAS no wrongs so I keep no record (though I have a false record like “Well, you did harden Pharoah’s heart and you did allow many women missionaries who wanted to get married to stay single forever and you did allow a lot of deaths of babies — but that’s a WRONG list of my own wrong thinking, not HIS wrongs).

—He doesn’t need protection…

So how can i use this list i’m used to to gauge my love for God?

I mean, a lot of the love I have comes from a desire to serve or be compassionate towards others and that doesn’t fit with God since he needs no compassion for Himself. Then — lightning strikes again— He asks us to show it to others if we love Him. be kind and patient and not rude to OTHERS–esp the low-income and harassed people.

1 John 4:20
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Ok, so I love my brothers and my sisters and even people who should be enemies. I love Osama Bin Laden! But does this mean I love God? (I’m really throwing it out there for you as a question, i do NOT know as of now).

I submit that it does not. You need A to get to B, but B does not equal A — right? Lots of people love people and do NOT love God.

So how can i learn to LOVE GOD? I think it comes from worship. Spending time realizing how AMAZING he really is–thinking about what He did. Remembering things He’s done, and promises he kept. Praising Him for how He saved me…

That’s my #1 idea — another one might be just turning to Him instead of other things when I feel sad, lonely, empty, tired, ‘hungry’ (usually i am not hungry anyways), needy, proud, happy, crazy—basically anytime. Him first–then maybe other things later.

He will always come through, and then I will love Him even more.

I don’t even give Him chances to show His love! If i did, i would see it and my own would increase.

Someday we will be with God IN HIS PRESENCE forever. This is just an appetizer, and it’s like–the REALLY small small ones that just make you way hungrier (the whole point of appetizers). I just need to remember not to fill up on bread and instead enjoy the small piece of what is to come later on in heaven and wait for the meal patiently.

And how dare i be impatient with God? Not only is it not loving–it’s stupid! He’s the master of the universe who knows the future!

Ok, So i’ve been typing and didnt think about any of this until my fingers wrote it. I may read it tomorrow and decide everything i transmitted here is wrong wrong wrong. But until then, i’m going to bed.

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Books I read recently.

Recently i read:

A Life of Balance (KP Yohannan)
The Hole in our Gospel (Richard Stearns, President of World Vision)
Passion and Purity (the lovely miss Elizabeth Eliot)
The Heavenly Man (Brother Yun)
I Will Follow You (Jerry Bridges)
The Practice of Godliness (Jerry Bridges)
Humility (Andrew Murray)
The Lord’s Table
Counterfeit Gods (Tim Keller)

Am i any more humble, pure, heavenly? Probably not. Did I learn a TON? Definitely. I wish I took better notes. When i am reading these sorts of things, and it’s worthwhile, I can’t stop—I walk and read through my commute to the point where it’s not safe–:) and i suck up all the info like Johnny 5 in Short Circuit 2.

Anyone have any new suggestions or want to borrow one of the above books?
I will say that my most recent was by Keller and he was right on about idols. I’m working on figuring out what mine are (we all have idols, it’s just a question of what they are!) — then replacing them (just removing doesn’t help us, has to be replaced with Jesus Himself. Oh no. Gave the book away–so sorry!

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