Thursday, June 29, 2006

Growing Up Churched

Last night at small group, Mrs. Bone talked with us about how easy it is to grow up in the church, get good teaching, even read the Bible, and not really apply or think about all that you "know." It was so cool that she brought it up, because a couple of days before, Mom and I were reading in Isaiah and something stuck out at me. I'd meant to blog about it earlier, but now I definitely feel like it!

In Isaiah 29:13-14, Isaiah writes:

"Then the Lord said, 'Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, (v.14) therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed."

It led me to think of the dangers of worshipping God, praying, etc. in outward obedience with no heart intention/inclination toward Him. The abundant familiarity with the things of God can be either a tremendous blessing or a tremendous hazard, depending on how it is put to use.

Verse 14, along with verses 11-12, reminded me of a blog Pastor Sean wrote about the study of God's Word. We take for granted, I think (at least, I know that I do), the opportunity to study the very Word of God. It has not always been so easy or possible to pay attention and search the Word as it is now, nor can we be sure that it will always be! This challenged me again in my thinking--how shall I then live? Will I waste my time and opportunity to learn & love more about God? Or will I use each day to make much of Him, growing and learning how to love Him more?

Monday, June 26, 2006


The other day, I stumbled upon an amazing website. Now I haven't navigated the whole thing, so I don't want any nasty letters saying I endorsed something bad, but it really looks good. I found a couple of articles that I thought about discussing in separate blogs, but I think I'll just post about here.

I only scanned this article, but it made me laugh and think. I don't know if they'd want me quoting it, so although I desperately want to, I'll simply play it safe and describe it here. The article focused on relationships and finding value in God, not in others.

This article talks about appearance and how we need to think through where our beauty lies. I've thought about this before, and it's really an interesting topic. It ties in a bit with Pastor Zimmer's messages at evening service. (For those of you who don't get to hear these, he has been going through 1 Timothy and is now in chapter 2, verses 9-15. Good teaching!) I recommend this article--very thought provoking.

I just wanted to share all this with you and recommend that you explore the website, as I know I will be doing. It seems to be filled with some gems.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Our Gorgeous Garden

We just came in for an ice water break (also possible to read that as "a nice water break") after tending our little spot of earth again. Anyway, it is such fun to get things done in the garden, whether it's finding more compost to use, planting a wide variety of lettuces, fertilizing the vegetables that are already growing, or picking about 5 pounds of strawberries--you heard right, we're going to have very local berries tonight! Yes!!!

Mom and I are taking advantage of the beautiful sunshine, and enjoying the prospects of glorious sun all through Tuesday, at least! The pepper plants ought to enjoy it too.

I LOVE gardening!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pilates Pain, Painted Palms

I've been keeping pretty busy lately, even though I don't have to keep up with schoolwork right now. The break from studying is very welcome, and I've found many things to take up the extra time, many of which I had put off because of pressing schoolwork.

I picked up some Pilates videos at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago, and so a few days ago, I decided to try them out. I went downstairs, and put the first tape in. Dad decided to come down and get some exercise, too. It didn't take too long of seeing me rolling like a ball for him to decide to mow the lawn instead. I think it made him nervous. But I've been enjoying it, for the most part. The thing that I've had to get used to is pain when I laugh. Pilates requires a lot of control from your core, and I've been feeling the effects whenever someone says anything funny.

I rejoined the church choir, which made me very happy. I really love the wonderful people in choir. They truly are a fantastic bunch of people. And I enjoy the great songs Pastor Williams picks out for us. I'm looking forward to getting more in tune again. After a while of letting my vocal chords go, I'm a bit rusty.

Mom and I have made it a goal this summer to fix up the house in whatever ways we can. Today we primed the bathroom that Tim and I share. It needed it--the previous owner was, well, a bit decorating-challenged. This bathroom was all seafoam green with fishy wallpaper on the lower half of one wall. Yeah, it was pretty cheesy. And I don't really know what she used to fasten the wallpaper to the wall, but I suspect that she may have used Dentyne. It was so hard to get the backside of the wallpaper off! I ripped up my thumbnails trying to scrape it. It was the only thing that worked. Even the ceiling was painted crazy seafoam. I spent a good amount of time on a stepladder, reaching above my head trying to roll primer on the ceiling. Anyway, now I'm covered in primer. My hands are definitely not modeling material. I'm never going to do that to a house, if/when I am a homeowner. Death to fishy wallpaper!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Graduation Contemplation

Editor's Note: this is my 50th post ever! (Not counting the last one, simply because, well, it doesn't count.)

One of my small group leaders asked me to prepare some things to share with our small group Sunday morning before last; just advice and things I've learned in my meager 18. I thought I'd share them here with you.

1) Make God Your Priority and Keep Him There! Hold your time with Him in unparalleled importance. Let your quiet times be truly quiet-- just you and God together. It is amazing what can get lost in noise. A thriving relationship with God is the most valuable thing you could ever have. He will be there to help you in times that:

  • you're tempted to compromise
  • you're needing counsel, or
  • you just don't feel like things are working out.

Have His perspective on life--He will see you through--even through High School! :)

2) Love! Don't let this one go. Sometimes, love is lacking and we don't even realize it. One way is to love your parents, and go to them for advice. There is a reason that God gave you parents! Going to them and seeking their wisdom is one way to really honor them. Another way to love is by including and getting to know those outside your usual circle of friends. What an awesome thing a new friend can be, for both people involved!

3) Be Pure! Be careful about what you let into your heart and mind. Ask your parents to look into movies you want to watch. (Here are some great websites from Christian perspective: Christianity Today Movies "Film Forum"; Christian Answers' "Spotlight on Entertainment"; Focus on the Family "Plugged In"; Jesus Freak Hideout; and one that is secular but that can outline the general plot is Internet Movie Database.) Try to have girls as your best friends, ladies. Like Pastor Sean says, you wouldn't want your future husband to be best friends with another girl. Dont do that to other girls. Leave the guys to make friends with each other. (In my own life, I've had some situations where if I hadn't erred on the side of caution, it would've been bad.)

4) Be Salt and Light! There are so many ways you can fulfill the Great Commission, just in Marysville.

  • Pray for unbelievers, whether friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
  • Be a light - have integrity with your unbelieving friends. They won't see God in you if you look exactly like they do.
  • Serve in the evangelistic opportunities you're given. Backyard Bible Club, World's for Sale, handing out invitations for church concerts, and diligence at work are all great ways to show God off to the community. Your work ethic and attitude are a huge witness--good or bad--to unbelievers.

5) Reach Out! Get to know people who are older and younger than you are. There are some absolutely incredible people outside our age group! Kids are awesome to work with. AWANA, Childrens Ministry, and the Nursery are great ministry opportunities. Older people can share so much wisdom, and they can be so much fun to get to know! Life can be very blessed by just having a wide variety of friends.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'll Post Soon!

I know it's been forever since I last posted, and I want to thank you all for your faithful reading. I know it's irritating to check blogs frequently and not find anything new, but I promise I will post soon. I have something in the works, I just need more energy before I post. Be back soon!