Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?
Mother Teresa

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'Do I know my next door neighbor?'  Well, of course they are the ones I smile and wave to as we're getting our mail or piling in the car to go to church.  I know some neighbors better than others, the ones who are friendly and easy to talk to. . .  I'm not sure about the new neighbors though - I've seen their teenagers smoking behind the house and staying up late on the weekends blaring music.  I don't want my children to be influenced by them, so it might be best to just ignore them for now. 

I must admit these thoughts have slowly crept into my pharisee plagued brain lately.  Perhaps the neighbors I need to speak with the most aren't the most lovely or likeminded, but the ones who need to know the love of God, and I sit here in my comfortable house keeping Him all to myself.  Christ commanded us to love our neighbors that means our 'homeless, Muslim, black, white, Jewish, Christian, atheist, gay, racist neighbor' (taken from Christian t-shirt).  And I know I have all of these and more just in my own neighborhood alone, yet my neighbors don't even know me or know that there is a God who cares for them. . and how will they know unless they are told.

My sweet husband is in Kenya right now ministering to souls hungry for the Gospel.  I am so glad he is there seeing hundreds come to a saving knowledge of our Lord.  And I long to go one day too. . . but perhaps my mission field has been given to me on my own street.  Perhaps the courage to tell the world about Him starts when I tell the one beside me.

So love your neighbor, as I love mine.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My words have not fallen here in quite awhile, so they spin inside my head.  I began this blogging journey in hopes to encourage and enlighten, but most importantly to bring glory to God.  The words found here were originally an overflow of my love for Him and my search to know Him more.  But, alas I have drifted. . . we all climb mountains and walk valleys on this journey and recently my road has turned its way through the valley. 

As David wrote, "What is man that you are mindful of him?"  More and more I am amazed that He is mindful of me.  This sinning, struggling, heart breaking wanderer, leaving the God who gave all to seek its own.  And still He reminds me that, "while we were sinners, Christ died for us."   Not while we were beautiful and pure and lovely and pleasing, but when we were broken and black and bruised.  He loves us as we are, however confused or lonely or battered.  He loves us and wants us to know Him more.  He wants to teach us wisdom and grace and love.  And 'even in the valley, God is good.'  Even when He seems silent, He is there and He is loving us.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Comfortable Christianity

                                                                   (see the bubble :)

Inside this bubble I have created, life is contained.  I only allow things in here that I know, people that I agree with, thoughts and ideas that conform to my own.  Staying in this bubble is easy, comfortable, peaceful.  Living here too long however has made me short sighted.  I tend to only see the people I like, do the things I feel are pleasant or important, see things from my perspective always.  How dangerous. . .

In my growing years I was very sheltered.  My parents took great care that I did not see the shame of the world, and I am grateful for their care, but it also caused me to be a little naive.  In this, I believe that most people see things the way I do. . . that most believe in God or go to church, that most live morally pure lives.  I have created a home where speaking of the Lord is second nature, church plays a vital role in our outside activities, and our homeschool friends are like-minded as well.

Lately, though I have come to realize I am just light shining with the light, and all of our light is hiding in the closet.  We fellowship and Bible study and talk in our circles of faith, but that is where we stay.  Most of the world does not know our Savior.  There is a very real and present darkness all around us, yet we choose to keep our light to ourselves.  The hopeless, helpless, dying, sinning world needs so desperately the love of a Savior.  They need to know there is meaning and joy and life abundant in a caring and faithful God. 

We chose to pop our bubble today.  We took a very small step out and intentionally met with a group of mothers and children whom we knew were not Christians, and looked at our Christianity as offensive.  I will admit I was nervous and a little on edge.  We were able to chat on a few subjects and build a small foundation of a relationship which I hope will soon grow deeper and concern matters of faith.  But, we took a step, and tomorrow maybe we can take another.  Even if it's hard and brings uneasiness, that is what we are called to do. 

The light doesn't need the light.  The darkness needs the light and the darkness rarely comes seeking the light.  It is we who must seek the darkness.  We must go and tell.  After all, our greatest example, Christ chose to live right among those who were dirty and shamed, greedy and guilty.  The religious crowd offended Him with their pride and self righteousness.  I want to be where He is, not seeking myself or my own comfort, but giving all to share His story.

Thankful today for. . .
220.  New opportunities
221.  Bravery in Him
222.  Crisp, fall air
223.  Hot chocolate
224.  Mums on the front steps
225.  Hard days (so the good ones are appreciated more)
226.  The kindness of a sister
227.  Apple scented candles
228.  Skies proclaiming the work of His hands!
229.  Deep sleep