Monday, September 28, 2009

millstones

This past Sunday's gospel reading was pretty in your face. Jesus, I don't care what anyone says, was NOT a nice guy. That doesn't mean He wasn't loving, but let's be real...anyone who says "if you lead one of these little ones astray it would be better for him to wrap a millstone around his neck and cast himself into the sea" is not a "nice" guy. He's a "real" guy. Yep, I think Jesus was a real guy. A really not nice kind of guy! But at the same time, you always knew where you stood with Him. I think we still know where we stand with Him. He isn't going to sugarcoat the truth, or water it down. He will tell you like it is. Wrap that millstone around your neck, my friend and cast away!

This is one of the stories in the Bible I like to joke around a lot with because it's so to the point. But the reason I can joke around with it so much is because I know and understand the importance of it. I can see that story and relate it to my own life. I can see that millstone and ask myself if everything I am doing is truthful and loving...or if I should be wrapping that millstone around my neck. I work with kids for a living and I better be darn sure that I am leading kids closer to God and not further away. I can never let my own insecurities or opinions lead someone away from Christ or having a personal relationship with Him. I have to know that how I live my life reflects the relationship I have with Christ and therefore witness to Him. Do I always do that? Certainly not. We all mess up and make decisions that lead us away from Christ, but it's in turning back that we set the example. It's by repenting and stating that we were in the wrong that we show people how to set the bar higher for themselves in order to make it to heaven. Jesus is that bar that we are setting. Do we set Jesus really low in our lives? Or is He "the bar" that we are reaching for, striving for? Are we striving to set that example for everyone around us, or should we be looking for a millstone? Priase God He always lets us come back when we mess up, Amen!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Live for today...

Over the past few days I have seen quite a few people who have had some major health problems...and none of these people are super old. It makes me really reevaluate the way we tend to live life. I know that for myself I can easily say, I'll do that tomorrow...but what if tomorrow never comes? I know this sounds cheesy but as I watched last season's finale of Grey's Anatomy and people are dying and the monologue is all about asking ourselves if we told the people who have changed our lives that we loved them, I found myself asking the question: "Would I be ready if I died tomorrow?" I don't think this is a morbid question...actually I think it is a wise question. We have to constantly be thinking beyond this world...beyond this life. Are you? If I had to say that I would change ONE thing then I wouldn't be ready to meet my maker. I mean, clearly I can improve on things but I need to know that I am as ready as I possibly can be. It's a big deal...it's the difference between heaven and hell, it's the difference between seeing the face of God for all of eternity or being deprived of the very thing that gave breath to your soul!
I made it a habit a long, long time ago that I never, ever hang up the phone or walk out the door without telling my parents or brother that I loved them. Because what if I never see them again? I want the last thing I said to be something of love. It's imitating Christ, even when we don't feel like it, and even when our family irritates us beyond measure. That is what Paul was talking about when he said, imitate me and I imitate Christ.
I encourage you tonight before you go to bed to sit down with a piece of paper and write the things that most desperately need changing in your life...do you need to apologize to a friend or family member who you've hurt? Do you need to forgive someone for hurting you? Do you need to spend more time in prayer? I know I do!
Live this day like it could be your last...and Christ's peace will enter your heart!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do you worship the snooze button?


I love sleeping...it's actually one of my favorite activities (can it be considered an activity?). It is one of my favorite things in the world to get into my fluffy, cozy bed at night and just snuggle down for sleep! And then the alarm goes off! Now, I am not one to hit the snooze...nope, not because I don't want to continue to sleep but once I'm up, I'm up. I hate the sound of that alarm too. Ick! But I think for a lot of us getting out of bed is tough...it's much more inviting to continue to stay in that warm place and not have any cares in the world. I imagine that this is what the womb would be like...I would like to think that when I was born I was clinging onto my mom's rib or something so I didn't have to come out. I guess I didn't cling too hard because I was out in 45 minutes! That's besides the point. We like being comfortable and a lot of us really like that extra five minutes to sleep. I wonder what the world would be like if we didn't hit the snooze button. I wonder if all of us would just get out of bed and start our days like clockwork. I think back to when there weren't alarm clocks in everyones room and people got up with the sun and went to bed when the sun went down. Did they just NATURALLY get up? Were they really THAT disciplined? That amazes me because we live in a world that lacks discipline...ie we tend to worship the snooze button.

I think this lack of discipline has almost come to be expected from the young people! But take heart young people! (myself included) today's reading was from the 1st book of Timothy in which he says "Let no one have contempt for your youth,but set an example for those who believe,in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity....Do not neglect the gift you have". We are not chained to the snooze button, we are not chained to the laziness that people expect from the youth in today's society. I encourage you to break the mold! Get out of bed 5 minutes earlier and spend it in prayer. I challenge you this week...take an extra five minutes out of your morning and thank the Lord for giving you life! Let's worship our Salvation, not our snooze button! Happy morning!

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