Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reminding myself that I am a mess

Acts 13 Paul stood up in the synagogue and started speaking... "Before (Jesus) came, John the Baptist preached the need for everyone in Israel to turn from sin and turn to God and be baptized.(24) Brothers...this salvation is FOR US (26)."  
The Jewish leaders fulfilled prophecy by condemning Jesus to death. They didn't recognize him or realize he was the one the prophets had written about...They found no just cause to execute him but they asked Pilate to have him killed anyway...But God raised Him from the dead! He appeared to many people over a period of many days. "Brothers, listen! In this man JESUS, there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in Him is FREED FROM ALL GUILT and declared RIGHT WITH GOD- something the Jewish law could never do (38)."

So, I haven't written in awhile. You could sort of attribute it to traveling and busyness, but more so I'd say that I haven't been digging deeply into the word lately or feeling very connected to the Lord. I desire it SO MUCH. I need Him SO MUCH. But my heart feels a bit numb and I wasn't really sure why. Sunday morning at church, we talked about Revelation 2, the first letter written to one of the 7 churches at the time. It's a letter from God telling the churches what they are doing well and warning them about what they are lacking. The church of Ephesus did a lot of things well and would be considered diligent Christians who looked the part. But their hearts had grown cold. They still went through the motions, did good deeds, even shared the gospel and endured persecution and hardships. But the love they once had for God had faded. God warns them to return to their first love (Him!).

How often I need this reminder! Lord, stir up my heart for you! Renew my passion for you, my vision for your kingdom here on earth! Lift me out of complacency and selfishness. Fill me with overflowing love for you and for the world around me!

I feel like I sometimes live in this bubble, taking care of the mundane household chores and taking care of KJ, working out, cooking meals, paying bills, grocery shopping and running errands... My focus can completely be on temporary things and I can go for days without remembering why I'm really here and what Christ has done for me.

Our Sunday School teacher asked a question. Why do you think the church of Ephesus had lost their love for God?

Great question!
We came up with many possibilities, but one of them stuck with me. They had forgotten the gospel. They had grown numb to it. Even though they may have been sharing it with others, they forgot that it was for THEM. They forgot where they would be without Christ. They lost sight of the joy they once had upon receiving it. Psalm 51:12 "Restore to me the JOY of your salvation!"

Sometimes if I'm honest, I find myself doing that too, thinking I'm 'past' the gospel...ready to move onto something deeper. It seems so basic and I've heard it so many times that I find myself saying, "What's next? I've already got that." This thinking shows me that I really have very little understanding of the actual gospel- thinking I've got it figured out and can move onto something else- as if there is anything else greater or more important.

I am a wretched sinner. If I think about it for one second, I realize how far short I fall daily from being righteous. The thoughts I think, the way my tongue can lash out, my impatience, lack of generosity, missed chances to serve others, my selfishness...I am a mess! If not for Christ, I wouldn't have a CHANCE at being good enough for heaven. I couldn't stand for God to even look at me. I would be receiving what my sin deserved, death and separation from God for all eternity. If God kept a record of ours sins, who could stand? All have sinned...all have fallen short.  All deserve punishment.

OH but for CHRIST! For Him taking on my sin and guilt and shame. Dying the death I deserve. Offering me FORGIVENESS. Grace. Acceptance. Eternal life. FOR FREE! (Well, to ME it's cost Jesus His life!) By faith in Him, I am forgiven and clean. THANK YOU GOD for making me cleeeeeeeeean! That I would be declared righteous by God???
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:1

I have heard it said that we need to tell ourselves the gospel daily, and I think that is WISE advice. I hope today was a good reminder for you too! If we forget this, our hearts will grow cold, our love for God will fade, and we will become prideful. Remember what He has done for you! Remember where you would be without him! Thank him! And ENJOY the gift of salvation and peace with God every day! We are made RIGHTEOUS, our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west! And we have eternity in heaven with Him!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

KJ's 5 mile hike

You are 11 months! Holy cow! You are NOT about to be a one-year old! WHAT IN THE WORLD!

This month:
-You are saying "Mama"! (Woo hoo! The most important milestone of them all!). I don't even know if you are sure of what mama is, but I'll count it. The 'mm' sound was a tough one for you to say. You still say "baby" more than any other word, but can also say "dadada" and "up" when you want me to pick you up (sounds like 'bap'). And your only consistent sign is still "more" (your favorite word).
-You will stand up on your own now without holding onto anything and stay standing for as long as you want to. Kent says you took one step but since I didn't see it, I'm pretending it didn't happen yet.
-Your top two teeth came in! The top right is huge, the left just barely popped through, and the other top 2 are close behind. You look SO different with a mouthful of teeth! SO much older. Where did my baby go
-You wear size 3 diapers, size 2 shoes and 9-12 month clothes.
-You still nurse 5 times a day and eat as much food as we will let you at every meal-bottomless pit!
-You love playing games, wrestling on the bed, climbing up the stairs (and on everything), walking around the house with your walker, pulling things out of boxes or bags, swimming, and being around people. You got lots of time around other babies this month and it was fun to see you be sweet to them. (Although you tried to crawl over cousin Will a few times).
-You now want to feed yourself the messy foods that I usually feed you (applesauce, oatmeal or yogurt). You will grab the spoon from me and jam it into your mouth usually upside down so it falls everywhere Let the messy mealtimes get even messier!

We celebrated dad and I's 3rd anniversary, my first mother's day, and my birthday this month. Dad finished another school year, his second year teaching at Briarcrest. We traveled to Nashville for the State Track meet,  Arkansas for a friend's wedding, then Phoenix Az to visit Aunt Leslie and her family for a week. What a crazy month!

  We took a 5 mile hike in the Arizona desert with your 3 cousins, including 3 month old baby Will. Dad carried you in a backpack the whole way and you seemed pretty content considering everything! It got up to 110 degrees mid day! (I honestly, think I prefer the dry heat to Memphis humidity though..) but we had a BLAST the Day family. Wish they lived closer to us! Those crazy boys need a little girl around to sweeten them up!

Mom and Aunt Leslie
We are looking forward to a summer filled with swimming, family time, and hanging with friends. (and a ONE YEAR OLD'S BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!) Life is so good!

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