Friday, August 31, 2012

His Soul Was Annoyed to Death

Okay, it's my turn to confess.  I struggle every day with nagging.  I'm a nag.  I'm convinced it is an "oldest daughter" trait.  As the oldest daughter of an oldest daughter of an oldest daughter, I have it bad! (No offense, Mom) When my husband doesn't take the trash out right when I think he should, I can get kind of mean.  The nag he hates the worst is what he calls "go mode."  That would be when I am ready to go before everyone else in the family, and I nag them all to hurry. I know nagging is not appropriate behavior in a wife or mother, and I am trying to get better.  I hope I will never be as guilty as Samson's women.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Truth Be Told (Part 2)

This is the second in a series on the idea of telling the truth.
I am naturally introverted, a generally reserved person. Still, that's no excuse for putting on my mask especially with the people who love me.  As much as I would like to hide myself sometimes it's impossible. My husband is my opposite in so many ways; one of the most honest people I know, he is forthright, direct and unafraid.  My husband frequently sees right though me and he doesn't hesitate to tell me the truth about myself.  It's one of the reasons I love him, and one of the ways the Holy Spirit convicts me. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Heroic Confession

There are things we just don't say at church, and if we do say them we "code" them.  Like this: "I have sinned."  Could we be less specific?  "I am struggling with some things."  What does that even mean?  That could be 10 extra pounds, drug addiction or liver cancer!  "I need prayers."  Who doesn't?  My mom prays for me everyday-apparently I need prayers too.  Church is one of our favorite places to avoid telling the truth.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sing of His Beauty

I have never been a huge lover of the Psalms.  Perhaps it is a carryover of my dislike of poetry.  While the division of this reading schedule has helped me not get so overwhelmed by a huge dose of poetry, I find that it sometimes makes me lose the overall flow and thought of an individual poem.  This week I read Psalms 33 which really struck a chord in my heart.  This chapter begins by telling us to "sing for joy in the Lord." 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Truth be Told

This week we are going to be baring our souls a little bit.  Okay, I admit, we've done a little of that here already, but this week our whole theme is confession.  We'll be confessing some sins we struggle with, and finding strength from God's word as we seek to overcome those sins. ~Melissa
This is the first in a series of two posts about telling the truth

Let's be honest.  I struggle to tell the truth.  It's not so much that I make a habit of lying directly. I almost never lie.  Instead I deceive with silence.  I smile instead of express my anger.  I swallow my resentment and refuse to speak my heart.  When my family is in a crisis, when my heart is broken, when I would benefit enormously from my sisters' support, I can't bring myself to speak. I skim over my prayers with a quick, "Please forgive me of all my sins" as if I could prevent the All-Seeing Lord from really seeing me.  I hide behind a minimal amount of truth.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Women of Proverbs: The Mother

Last week in our discussion of the women of Proverbs, we looked at the Adulteress.  This week, we'll take a look at a contrasting female type, the Mother, and how she can help her son avoid the wiles of the adulteress. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Focused

In my attempt to fill my mind and heart with wholesome things, I read several Christian blogs.  One of them is Christian Women Blogging on www.TheChristianWoman.com, and I urge you to check it out.  Several women of varying backgrounds share how they live day to day as a Christian woman, as well as devotionals and Bible studies.  One of the authors is Ms. Julie Cosgrove.  We'll be sharing a guest post from her in the near future.  You can find her website at www.juliebcosgrove.com.  In my communications with her and with the Christian Woman, I have found that she is also a fiction writer.  She recommended I read a novel of hers called Focused.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Finishing Strong

More than once during the recent Olympics, the world witnessed how the outcome of a competition could suddenly change in the final seconds of a race.  One Example of this was the Men's 4x100-meter freestyle swimming relay.  Although the Americans led through the first three legs of the race, France came from behind at the end to overtake the Americans and win*.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Thousand Voices

When Bathsheba comes up in conversation...What? She's not lunch time conversation at your house?  Must just be us… the immediate thought is about her memorable bath-time adventure with King David.  But it is not the only story she is featured in.  There are a pair of stories at the beginning of 1 Kings that highlight the queen. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Women of Proverbs:The Adulteress

In our examination of the women of Proverbs, we've taken a close look at the contentious wife.  There's another type of woman in this book, and at first I was hesitant to write about her. But when I skimmed the book again, I realized that the authors spend a lot of time describing her.  The adulteress.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Creation

We have recently had our Vacation Bible School.  Ah, VBS, where kids stay up too late, eat too much sugar, and do a lot of hollering.  Okay, maybe my view is a bit pessimistic.  Actually, I have to say that our VBS this year was fantastic, despite my kids being somewhat sleep deprived.  Our congregation chose the theme of Creation, and choosing that theme really helped me to do some digging into an area that I had always been too afraid to look at closely.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weeping and Rejoicing

Today I would like to share a trip down memory lane that came as I read Romans 12:15.

As we all know, men and women aren't wired the same way.  Most of us have a stronger need for relational ties and support and less difficulty in forming these connections than our male counterparts.  Friendships give us great joy during the good times and comfort during the bad.  Romans 12:15 says to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who rejoice.  I believe this is generally an easy command for us to follow.  When friends share good news, our natural reaction is to rejoice with them, especially if things are going relatively well.  On the other hand when others go through difficulties, we hurt with them.  


Monday, August 13, 2012

Stupid Tax

I have listened to Dave Ramsey for about 8 years.  He is a radio talk show host who writes and speaks on personal finance, especially becoming and living debt free.  One of my favorite things he talks about is "Stupid Tax."  In his lingo that means you did something financially dumb and now you are going to have to pay for it.  Once in a while, he takes an hour on his radio show to allow callers to explain exactly how much stupid tax they had to pay.  Like not reading the small print on the free online bill pay that says that it could take up to two weeks for the check to arrive and then having to pay late fees on the bills. What?  You haven't ever done anything that dumb?  I have! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Women of Proverbs:The Contentious Wife

When we think about the "women of Proverbs," I'm sure most of us think about Proverbs 31 and the excellent wife that Solomon writes about, as well we should.  The example of womanhood given to us in that famous chapter is one we should all aspire to.  But there are other women written about in Proverbs that we can learn from.  I would like to take a few posts to discuss them. To begin with, I'd like to take a look at a negative example of wifeliness that Solomon has shared with us.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Graduate Course in Justice

This year the daily Bible that I'm using is organized so that the reader enjoys a daily dose of wisdom literature. When I was at Harding University, one of my professors said something to the effect of, "The Psalms show all the ways that a person of faith could be reacting and relating to God."  The scope of the Psalms is astonishing-stretching from lament to praise, from complaint to mnemonics, from wisdom to hymns primarily in honor of the King.  As a college-aged student I found them from my Sunday School worldview unseemly.  It's a good thing I had not yet understood the Song of Solomon or I might have passed out.  So I am day by day reading a Psalm or proverb and getting a graduate course in suffering and justice.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Temple of the Living God

Most people hope to make their mark in the world.  Throughout David's life, he had done many memorable things; however, as he grew old, there was one more monumental task that he wanted to complete. According to I Chronicles 17, David's greatest desire before death was to build a spectacular temple for God.  When he consulted the prophet Nathan about his desire, the answer from God was that his son would be the one to do this.  His disappointment did not keep him from doing all he could to make his son's job easier. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gomer: Grace, not Tolerance

Do you know any prostitutes?  I'm not asking metaphorically.  I mean literally, have you ever been well-acquainted with a prostitute? I have-more than one.  Professionally and as a volunteer, I have worked in communities where young women sell their bodies.  One memorable night, I drove in to the neighborhood and passed a string of giggling girls seemingly between fifteen and nineteen.  They struck me so incongruously.   They were of an age to be waiting for the school bus or working nights at the Chick-fil-a.  Yet here they were In their high heels and short skirts, brazenly calling out to the johns who were creeping by with their windows down.  I hurt for them, because I also knew their older counterparts, still trading on assets long past their prime.  I have seen them dying of AIDS or of Hepatitis C.  I have no illusions.  Leaving this life is not as simple as having another option; it needs time and grace.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mary and Elizabeth: Rejoicing in Blessings

Sometimes I compare myself to other women.  Isn't that a shocker?  Sometimes I feel the need to compete with them, even if it is only in my head.  I'm jealous of Susie's yearly exotic family vacation (and of course the beautiful tan she returns with).  I feel smug when I compare Janie's monsters to my own angelic children (Fictitious example, trust me!).  There seems to be a never-ending list of things to compare.  Husbands, jobs, children, education, children's education, looks, money, houses are all tallied up in the scheme of how much better or worse I am than other women.  I know I'm not the only one to have these attitudes based on what I hear when ladies get together.  Even women in the church can be catty when it comes to voicing these jealous and prideful feelings.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday Prayers

Prayer is the conversation of a person with God.  It is a way that we present all of our joys, troubles, fears, gratitude, heartaches and hopes.  More than that, it's the path of our submission.  Every prayer begins with an address to the God who is greater than all and ends with an acknowledgment that we can only come to this throne because our great high priest, Jesus Christ, came first to earth.  We pray, "Your will and not mine be done," and we accept that this prayer is not about getting God to do what we want, but learning to do what He wants.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Whatsoever Women

Typically our Whatsoever Wednesday posts have us talking about what we have read, watched, or listened to that helped us to think on pure, lovely, noble things.  Since we are talking this week about women and how they relate to one another, I tried to think of something I could read or watch (outside the Bible) that would fit right in.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the best way to think about interacting with women is to....interact with women!