Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't Forget the Prayer Wall!

Just a reminder about the Prayer Wall.  A while back I committed to praying on a weekly basis for any requests left on the prayer page.  I am still praying weekly for those who listed needs and requests, so please drop by at any time if you have something you'd like to have prayer for.  Or drop by to lift up in prayer those needs posted by others.  There are further instructions on the page itself, which you can get to by clicking here or by going to the Prayer Wall tab under the picture at the top of this page.  If you don't want your name known, you may post anonymously.  If you don't want your request made public, make a note of that when you leave your comment and I will make sure it doesn't get published.  I will still pray regardless of whether or not your request is posted.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Here I Am - Right Now

Lately I've found myself tripping over the unknown, invisible cracks on the sidewalk I can't see as I walk along life's path with my eyes to the ground, lost in thought about things of the future.

Didn't I just walk this same path only a few months ago?

Yet here I am again, needing that same gentle reminder He already gave me once.  At least once.

I dream big.  I don't always know the details of what happens in my dreams, but deep down is a desire to do something worthwhile, something important and eternity-changing.  And so I think that when the time comes, I will step up and make a splash.  When He calls me to the bigger task, I will not fail.  When the purpose for which I was created finally arrives, I will embrace the job and leave an impact that points straight to Christ.

If...  When...  Then...

But instead of walking along this path called life with my head down, lost in my own dream world and watching my feet step one in front of the other, He tells me to look up.  I travel as though I am looking for a destination, a reason for the journey.

Really, though, I travel to a single Destination.  And that is the reason for my journey.

He tells me to look up, to notice the journey I'm on, to see where this present curve in the road has led me.  All around me is a world, a job, a purpose.  Right now, I am not ten miles down the road where my mind likes to wander.

Right now, I am here.  In the present.  Where my feet are.

And where my feet are right now doesn't appeal to me a great deal.  But it's where the path is, and it is where He has led me.  There is purpose for each step.  Each tiny, mundane, insignificant step.  He hasn't called me to be somewhere greater.  He has called me to be in the present, loving Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Serving Him in all things, whether others notice or not.

Change is coming.  Change always comes.  This time I think sooner than later.  And this proves to be a distraction for me lately.  But God has already laid the path through that part of my journey.  I need not fret over it, or try to peer ahead to see what's coming.  Because I don't know.  There's a mountain I have to go around first before I can see where I'm going.  He will show me when we get there.

For now, He has called me.  He has called me to be present today, in this moment, in the mundane, in the everyday.  It doesn't matter if I like it or not.  Because it's not about what I like or want.  It's about what He wants.  So now I try to look up and see where He has placed me.

Besides, when I look down for too long, I trip over my own feet.  And right now the ground is a little muddy.  I don't want to fall into that.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

English & Spelling 101

There's a certain pet peeve of mine that keeps poking me in the eye on a fairly regular basis these days.  It shows up frequently on facebook, in text messages, and in papers written by fourth graders.

It's called misused words and poor spelling.

For example, uses of words that sound the same and are spelled differently can trip us up.  I'm guilty of this myself at times when I'm not paying attention.  One such set of words:  there, their, and they're.

There is a location.  Their refers to people.  They're is the combination of "they" and "are." 
Bad example:  There going to take they're stuff over their. 
Correct example:  They're going to take their stuff over there.

Another set of troublesome words:  your and you're.  Again, your refers to people.  You're is the combination of "you" and "are."
Bad example:  Stop your at 1/2 price fireworks!
Correct example:  Stop!  You're at 1/2 price fireworks!

One thing teachers encouraged us to do as we first learned to string letters together into words was to "sound it out."  For the most part, this is a very useful tool when trying to spell a tricky word.  Kids (and adults) still do this, and that's a very good thing.  The downfall here isn't in our lack of ability to spell as it is in our lack of ability to speak properly.  As these younger generations become more and more adept at communicating via text and facebook and twitter, they use their elementary skills of sounding out our lazily-spoken words.  Then we end up with slang words that aren't even in the dictionary, and for whatever reason, this really gets under my skin.

The culprit I see over and over again:  probably.

Honestly, we talk so fast that it's a chore to pronounce the entire word.  (There are a few other words I know that I get lazy with, just as a disclaimer to hopefully sound slightly less incriminating.)  But with our lazy enunciations comes lazy spellings, and then we end up with the following digression of the word:


That last one is my favorite.  A fair attempt at sounding it out without removing syllables...done by an adult.

One final new favorite:  brother.  A common term of endearment used between men and boys, it also has quite the evolutionary process.  See below.


But one young man recently took this to a new level.  A written conversation with his buddy went as follows (see if you can find the newest evolutionary species):

Boy 1:  what a star
Boy 2:  I know right?
Boy 1:  yeah bra you are

Not a great title for a 13 year-old boy...but for some odd reason no one seemed to even notice this nickname-turned-noun.

So there's my English lesson for today.  I realize nothing is going to change just because I poked fun.  But I feel a little better after letting off some pent-up steam.  Why there was steam pent-up over the issue in the first place...
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
By the way, as a friend of mine was proof-reading this post for me, she so very kindly pointed out a rather comprehensive list of words that I apparently misspell on a regular basis (including but not limited to:  alter, desparate, and one other word she can't remember but will leave in the comments below as soon as thinks of it).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

When Belief Becomes Faith

Faith is more than thoughts and convictions.  It goes beyond mere belief.

I believe many things.  I believe God is the great Creator of heaven and earth.  I believe Jesus is both God and man, and that He bore my sins on the cross, died, and rose again to reconcile me to Himself.  I believe God knows me intimately and has a master plan for my life, that He is working right now, in the present, in and through me to bring glory to His Name.

But if someone was to observe my "faith," are those the same conclusions they would come to?

Faith is a verb.  I'm beginning to think it's not as much something we have as it is something we do.

I believe there is one God.  Well, says James, the demons also believe there is one God.  What's going to set me apart from them?  James continues by talking about faith and actions working hand-in-hand.

I believe God has brought me to where I am now for a reason, and that my joy is found in Him.  But is that what my life reflects?  Faith would face each day willingly, staying alert for opportunities to love and serve.

I believe prayer is the most powerful tool a Christian possesses, and that it changes lives and draws me into the presence of God.  Faith actually spends time praying - earnestly, eagerly, and frequently.

I believe all people are created by God and loved by Him, and that He calls me to meet their needs and make disciples of them.  Faith pushes aside end-of-the-day fatigue and walks next door to hang out with neighbor who doesn't know Christ.

What I believe doesn't matter if I don't have the action to back it up.  Who cares if I believe all those things if all I do with my life is merely survive and spend my days resting comfortably on my sofa?

Belief by itself doesn't go beyond head knowledge.  Faith begins with belief, but it doesn't end there. 

Faith flows out through the hands and feet.


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