Don’t wanna be a Pharisee
Don’t wanna be a Pharisee
‘Cause they’re not fair you see
Don’t wanna be a Pharisee
My friends and I are doing the Prodigal God (by Timothy Keller) Bible Study. It is very convicting…pointing out that the Prodigal Son is not only about the wayward son, but even more so about the older brother. The older brother is too prideful, jealous, unforgiving and angry to go into the feast at the end of the parable. We have to be careful not to be too judgmental or too prideful, as well as being careful not to break all the rules living wildly because we know that we have forgiveness waiting in abundance. There is a fine line and middle ground between the younger brother and older brother, but no matter what, we can do nothing without Jesus. He is the only way for any of us to live with Him forever. We need to surrender ourselves to Him completely and totally and follow His will. He gave everything for us.
Prodigal~recklessly extravagant; having spent everything
I am generally the stereotypical mom/teacher whose immune system is strong and doesn’t have time to be sick. 😉 Well, some crud came and hit the whole family hard this week. During the worst day for all of us, I was scheduled to take dinner to a friend, which I loved doing (no complaints). But after teaching sick kiddos all day, cooking their dinner, and delivering it, I was spent and so were they. Again, not complaining, this is just leading up to my mommy failure. It was just about six on our way home and I was debating dinner for us. My mind, nose and head were clogged and so we pulled into the grocery store where I proceeded to buy packaged sodium. For those of you who know me, this is not my style, but sometimes something has to give. And I felt extremely guilty laying down the made for kid tv dinners, as well as donuts for the next morning. But, such is life. And the kids love donuts!!! 🙂
I love Christmas! Obviously first and foremost I love Christmas because of what it is. Christmas is nothing less than the birth of my Lord and Savior. Without His perfect and precious birth, we would be nothing. Without His life begun, He could not have laid down His life for my sins and there would be no hope in this world. We are nothing, there is nothing, there would be nothing to have faith in or hope for…without Him we would all be sentenced to eternal death. Not only did He do all of that for me and you, but He has showered me with blessings of life, love, family, food, shelter…and on and on. I also love Christmas because, as you all know by now, I adore being with family and friends. I enjoy gathering around sharing food and fun memories while making new memories. It is a special time filled with traditions.
The enemy does not love Christmas. In fact, He knows that we are saved because of the birth of Jesus Christ. I think that is why there is so much pain at Christmas sometimes. He attacks people at their weakest at a time when they are praising the One who saved them. He attacks and tries to turn their vulnerability into a reason to distrust God. This is when we need God the most! He will not let us falter, He will not let us down, He does walk through every joy and every sorrow with us.
Hanging the ornaments on our Christmas tree each year is bittersweet. There are ornaments that were meant for Joshua. There are ornaments from people that are no longer here…that died too young. There are bitter memories along with sweet ones. My parents just attended a funeral of a great man who was attacked by cancer. His family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is celebrating Christmas with his Savior this year, but each Christmas will have a scar as they remember the husband, father, brother and friend that they lost. My friend just was served divorce papers this week, a friend who has done nothing but try to save her marriage as her spouse has thrown it away. Another friend is facing her third Christmas without her husband at home. Life is tough and it seems to get harder at the times when we think we should be untouchable. Satan may attack, he may even win a few battles, but we know that the Lord is the ultimate victor. We know the end and He has already won. Don’t lose hope, don’t lose faith, put your trust in the One who is with you each step of the way. Celebrate Christmas and have joy in the Lord!
Our world has been spinning at high speed lately. I feel like we are always at high speed and then more things go into our schedule, but they are all good things. We are moving quickly, but we are doing it together (for the most part) and praising God for the blessings! 🙂
For my husband, MBA classes have begun. How he is able to work full time and be an awesome daddy on top of going to school full time blows my mind, but he does it. It adds a little extra chaos to all of us, but he surely bears the brunt of the load.
For me, on a personal level, my eating and working out too a hiatus this summer, so I am back on my strict schedule of working out and eating somewhat right. 😉 Teaching and taxi driving has been put back in motion as well.
The kids are back to school (at home) and each have 1 sport activity as well as a church activity they attend each week. By Friday they are just as tired as my husband and I. They are still mourning the loss of their Riley cat. My oldest was the most outwardly sad in the beginning, has recovered quite well and talks about all the pets he will have when he is big. My daughter, who was the most attached, holds it all in. This concerns me a little bit. She will say things on occasion that let us know she is still thinking of Riley. She is trying to bond with the other cat now, which is kind of a cute thing to watch. My youngest, who is my old soul, was the one who went to Stormy right after Riley died to let her know what happened. He still misses her. He is also concerned that about Stormy’s buddy being gone. We can’t sure if he is more sad for himself or Stormy.
So, nothing drastic in our world. We count our blessings for that. We seem to be surrounded by friends who are suffering and we know we should thank God for our blessings as often as we pray for their lives to be mended.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find? The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.
Marriage used to be sacred, used to be taken seriously, used to be forever. It should be. It is called to be. It isn’t anymore.
I (sadly) often wonder how many brides and grooms go to the altar these days pledging to love and adore their spouse until death do they part, or someone better comes along. I wonder if brides and grooms these days expect forever. It is heartbreaking. I expect forever, my friends expect forever, but forever isn’t always what occurs.
So many of our friends now are experiencing the pain of affairs and divorce. It is horrendous to watch and be up close and personal with. There are so many pains in this world, but I cannot fathom facing one where you lose your best friend, the one who is supposed to carry you through the bad times or at least bear them with you. God of course is ever present. It is still so hard.
I blame the selfishness we as a people have acquired over the years. So many horrible decisions are made in the here and the now. “This feels good now, I should do it. My kids, wife, family, friend, etc all come in second to how I am feeling. It is all about me. I should be able to do anything I want and not deal with the consequences.” This way of thinking causes issues in marriages, in unplanned pregnancies, in drinking and driving, in drugs, in every sinful area of life. I despise this way of thinking. And I say that knowing I am not perfect and my thoughts are not perfect.
Whether or not you are a Bible believer (of course you know I am), the rules and laws of the Bible do prevent a lot of pain if they are followed. And they don’t prevent a lot of fun as many tend to believe.
I am thankful for my faithful husband. I am more thankful for my faithful God! And I pray all the time that my children may grow up caring for others over themselves and that they may spend eternity with their Holy God.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
1 John 3:21-22
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 NLT
Many thanks and true appreciation to the men and women who fight for our country, our freedoms and our protection. Blessings to each one of them and the families who stand so strong and fight the fight at home. Our heroes are amazing!
I adore the idea of tea.
Sitting down with friends with tea and cookies and catching up, or sitting on the front porch with cold tea watching the kids play. Curled up on the couch with a blanket, reading a books, holding a cup of tea.
Tea holds many health benefits for everyone.
I do not like tea.
I force myself to drink tea to try to be healthy.
I am more of a hot chocolate girl. I enjoy doing all those things with hot chocolate (except not daytime front porch, but evening is good)…unfortunately hot chocolate doesn’t hold the same health benefits.
Oh the war of the beverages. 😉
Silly speculations of the night. 🙂
It is a hard week for me. My Joshua’s birthday is on Sunday and so we will take a family trip to the cemetery. It will be bittersweet. We will decorate his gravestone better than anyone’s in the cemetery. He will have Christmas and birthday balloons, trees, toys, etc. The kids will want to leave one of their toys for him. It will be a tender day. And yet we will smile knowing he is safe in the arms of his Savior.
It was a hard year. We saw a lot of loved ones struggle either with marriages, loss, health, parents or children hardships. Every year, every minute sometimes, I realize how fragile and precious life is.
This year, I held onto those precious moments. I breathed them in. I felt guilty when I took them for granted. We are not promised perfect families or perfect health. We are not promised that life will be pain free. We are promised eternal salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We are promised that He will walk through each minute and each pain with us. We are promised that there is no pain in Heaven. I ask of anyone who reads this to give your life over to Jesus and spread His word to all you know.
I take photographs often, even when my camera is not around….I take photos in my head. I know that I am blessed beyond belief with my husband, my children, my parents and family who love me even though I am far from the perfect wife, daughter, sister and mommy. I thank God and them for giving me chances far over what I deserve. I pray to the Lord that each of them will live with Him for eternity. My personal life this year didn’t go through the trauma that I watched others go through, but my heart ached and broke for each one. Each one made me appreciate each moment with my blessings.