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Theology Thursday

as of this April, i’ve officially been a Christian for 10 years. i came to Christ in college (at a secular college of 40,000+ people no less), thanks to the examples of roommates and close friends and despite being a liberal arts student from a non-religious household. because i have no real family history of any form of religion being shared or practiced in the home, i suppose i have always been nervous about sharing about how awesome God’s love is with my children.

well, at the moment, Elisha is making all of that terribly easy (thanks, Lord. you always provide when i’m not looking!). he loves, no seriously loves, his Bible. he even says it (sort of; it often comes out like “mamol” instead of “Bible,” but it’s still cute). he’ll take it off the shelf, even if its’s stuck in a crowd of other books. he asks to read it every night before bed (unless he falls asleep in the car while we’re out, then it’s straight to bed on those nights). it’s awesome.

we have a Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. the illustrations by Jago are amazing. i love them! it’s hard to get an example off the internet, so the next time you’re at a bookstore, see if you can find the book. some of the stories are vertical. some of the stories are diagonal. some of the illustrations are just beautiful.

Elisha obviously isn’t old enough to understand the stories or really understand any theology, but it’s really great to be able to read to him about God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up kind of love. it’s fun to watch him point to the cover every time one of us says Jesus. for him to be raised knowing the kinds of things that both Justin and I didn’t know or care about until we were adults is really exciting for me. having the security of knowing Someone created and cared for you from childhood will hopefully be a comfort and a blessing for Elisha, an opportunity and a joy i didn’t know myself until much later in life.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

to be able to pass on our faith instead of hold it back, to be able to bear fruit in His name, is something i’m not taking for granted. it makes having children even more of a meaningful experience than it already is.

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on our couch

Bible study on wednesday night allowed us to have a record number of friendly folks on our futon. i love it.

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… multi-facited. as a woman, i feel my life is often pulled in so many directions. i’m a wife, a mother, a designer, a maker, a friend, a daughter. i’m always busy, always thinking, trying not to stumble over my own feet, over my own thoughts, or (worse yet) over my own words. i used to be always ahead, but lately i feel like i’m always one step behind, longing to catch up. it’s hard to have a concrete mission statement when i feel like i’m not on the path i want to be on, when i feel like somewhere along the way, i got on the wrong train. i may be headed to the same destination, but the scenery isn’t always what i expected to see.

i want to get to that right place, and i’ve truly been striving lately, reaching upwards for the answers to so many questions.

that said, surprisingly, my personal mission statements are each brief. i like simple, though i know i have a bad habit of being wordy. i want something i can cling to, something that fits on a note or on the back of my hand should i ever need a reminder of why or where i’m going.

as a mother: i live to encourage the growth of my children in all things, putting the Lord first in my heart so i can grow a love for Him first in theirs

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

as a wife: i live to support and edify my husband in all he does as i was made to do, through good times and bad

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for herto make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

as a designer: i live to create works that capture my client’s vision and purpose in a way that is both beautiful and effective.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

as a maker: i live to create things that glorify my Creator in a way that is both pleasing to the eye as much as the heart.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)

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reaching out (imagoism thursday 55)

reaching out (imagoism thursday 55)

so, on the drive to work this morning, i thought of a nice idea for a regular thursday spot here on my blog—take that, thursday. it was originally meant to be a ranting place, but the phone call i had while driving turned out the opposite of my expectations. i can’t complain about something terrible happening when it wasn’t terrible, can i?

if there’s anything more scholarly i took away from my old testament class at columbia international university, it could all be summed up in a quote from my wonderful professor: “God is always greater than my circumstance.”

i think He’s also much greater than my expectations.

thus, i think my theme for take that, thursdays has changed before it’s even begun. go figure.

i have a history of broken relationships. when things don’t go my way, i tend to avoid any chance of repeating the situation, often going out of my way to do so. this leads to me letting things fester, whether or not the [perceived] problem is even my fault at all. this then leads to complications down the road. tension. stress. you get the picture.

i’ll have to admit i love it when God turns everything on its head, when what i think i’ve got coming doesn’t.

unexpected blessings.

then again, are there really expected blessings out there?

i didn’t think so.

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Psalm 5:11-12

so, take that, thursday!

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