He was preaching on the life of John, but he focused on how John was such a great preacher.
Referring to the verse in John 3:30, "He must increase and I must decrease", Mr. Driscoll elaborated that as a pastor, he must be willing to give up his congregation. I have been to quite a few churches now that constantly complain that their congregation is not big enough and get angry when people leave their church. As Mr. Driscoll pointed out, John was completely willing to have his disciples follow Jesus and leave him. In the same way, Mr. Driscoll said that his congregation is not his own but God's and he must be willing to let them each follow Jesus, even to other churches.
When we lived in Colorado, we moved around from church to church for quite a time and never really settled down...but we were just following Jesus. God used each church in my life to make me who I am now. But the pastors that get angry or frustrated when people leave their church aren't accepting that God works in each heart as He wills. They're really being selfish by elevating their church above others.
One of the pastors that I respect the most is a kind man at one of the small churches we attended in Colorado. His congregation had once been large and his church was considered one of the biggest in town. But one Sunday, he felt that he was not teaching his people like God wanted and he began to preach more from the Bible and listen to the Holy Spirit. Sadly, most of his congregation left the church and when we attended, the church was small and the members few. But the preaching was rich and the people were very kind. It was quite obvious that the pastor of that church loved the Lord. I can image it would be very difficult to give so much up for the Lord. That pastor loved Jesus so much that he was willing to give up his congregation for Jesus' sake.
So, what does all this mean for me?
I'm not a preacher and I know I'll never be head of a congregation, but I pray that I may be more like John the Baptist. I'd rather give up my family and friends for the love of Jesus than live my life hiding the Light of the World for the sake of man's goodwill.
Of course, it's not just being more like John the Baptist that's important, it's really all about being more like Jesus. John the Baptizer had the Holy Spirit, but really he had the spirit of Jesus.
Remember, the Light of the World isn't just here on Christmas, but all through the year!
Isn't it funny that we rarely post on the Rosie Daisy DAILY? Or maybe it's not a bit funny, but just ironic.
I think I'm beginning to understand the meaning of a newsletter. It's for people like me who never have time to write letters each day, week, or even month. I'm lucky if I only have ten unread e-mails from friends in my inbox. But, hopefully over the Christmas Holidays I'll be able to write back to all of them. And hopefully, next year, I'll be more diligent and have more time. Probably not though.
But, God is still good.
It just takes me a while to know what to say.
I have been so very busy this year--I cannot even remember what we have done with a great deal of the time. I have been required to memorize bones, and muscles. (which has been a whole lot of fun, resulting in a temporary vegetarian diet ;))
I have been wondering at the cheerful Glory a family of pansies can bring to their Heavenly Creator.
I have listened to the birds sing the praises of the one who made them both fearfully and wonderfully, just like us.
I have watched my rabbit hop high out of pure joy, kicking her heels in the air. :)
I have seen, for the first time, the gradual change of leaves from green to pink to red and yellow and orange, a glorious array that shows their true colors for so short a transitioning-time.
Even the bare trees, standing stiff, stark, and monochromatic against the bright blue sky speak of the mighty wonders of our King.
I have been meditating and remembering what a glorious and good God we have.
I have been shown how great and marvelous His creation is, and peace has entered, rather crept, into my soul.
The peace of waiting, wondering, hoping, trusting, believing, and knowing, without reason.
I do not know why,
or even what for.
I do not seem to care so much any more.
If, for the rest of my life, I were going to wait for something, I never knew what, but did it Gloriously, I would hope that I could enter heaven satisfied that I had fulfilled my call towards Home.
For that is just it, isn't it?
To live Gloriously is, as far as I can tell, to "live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." as Paul urges us in Ephesians 4:1&2.
Genesis is the nephew of one of my mom's friends. He's five and was diagnosed with Stage IV Embryonal Parameningeal Rhabdomyosarcoma with METS to the lungs. He's doing well considering, but please remember to pray for him and other children with Rhabdo. I was reading his CaringBridge Journal and the story of a little girl was so sweet that I wanted to share it.
"I continue to be humbled and so grateful for the love and support we are receiving from so many wonderful people. I am especially amazed by the support from people we do not even know. Last week, after we had had a long day at clinic with his chemo and blood transfusion, we came home to find a great surprise in the mail. A 6 year old girl who is the daughter of a friend of my sister, Maria, had just had her 6th birthday party. Instead of presents, she had decided to ask for donations for Genesis. She has never met him but was willing to give up her presents to help him out. This was beautiful for so many reasons and was uplifting to both of us. This is just one example of the generosity of many around us. It is hard to put into words how incredibly thankful we are for each thoughtful act of kindness."
Jesus says, "No one is good but the Father", so discovering good is discovering God.
But.....keeping understanding and getting sense isn't all that easy.
You have to take rebuke and criticism along the way.
And I've always had a hard time taking criticism and rebuke. As soon as I sense it, I close myself up like a hedgehog and hide until the words stop. And for the longest time, I'd tell myself, "Hey, it's okay; this too shall pass; it'll blow over" and tried to forget the whole thing.
And because of it, I continually made the same mistakes.
But one morning, I read the day's devotion from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest. (I've searched the book many times trying to find the devotion to share, but I simply cannot find it!)
Mr. Chambers was writing about wisdom. It was on one of the Proverbs about rebuke.
Simply, he said that when the fool hears rebuke, he closes the door to wisdom and never improves. Contrarily, the wise man leaves his door open to rebuke--he loves wisdom so much that he jumps at every chance he can in order to be more like Jesus.
(I'd heard this a thousand times from my parents, but something was different about the way Mr. Chambers put it)
That devotion deeply impressed me. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see that every time I heard rebuke, I had an opportunity--
I could listen and become wiser and learn how to love Jesus better
I could ignore the truth and never grow spiritually.
Now every time I read Proverbs, I keep an eye out for those special verses on rebuke.
The one that comes to mind when I am being corrected is Proverbs 25:12, " Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear."
Hopefully as I grow older, I'll have so many ornaments of fine gold in my heart that I can give them away to those who need them.
So, maybe I shouldn't say I'm being corrected anymore. I'm really being showered with treasures untold. And I'm discovering God.
Yes. It is. But it's the good kind. Actually, all tests are good.
(The following is an excerpt from the girltalk blog today)
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." James 1:2-3
Nancy Wilson has some helpful thoughts on trials and testing:
So, how do we react when tough things happen? We should view it the way the Bible tells us to view it. This is a test. God sends His children pop quizzes and tests from time to time to see if we are learning our lessons, if we are paying attention, if we are reading our assignments.
Read her entire post here.
I can't wait to see this movie, but it might be a while before I can. We went to the theater yesterday after church and the entire parking lot was full! All of the churches in our area have bought up the tickets and booked the theaters! We decided to wait until next weekend.But look at those numbers!
Opening weekend and only $2.3M behind Lion King (which has been in for two weeks)
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and
thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we
may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is
good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a
knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all me--the
testimony given in its proper time."
Have you heard of Noise Trade? I found all these great Cds there for Free!
- The Hawk in Paris: His and Hers
- Josh Garrels: Love, War, and the Sea in Between
- Steve Moakler --love this one!
- All About Worship --absolutely great!
- Plumb Sampler
- Andrew Peterson: the Far Country --love this one too!
- Sleeping at Last
- Weekend Warrior Worship: Your Word
- and (my sister loves this Cd) The Vespers
What is free now will expire from the website in the future, so get it while you can. About 1/3 of my iTunes is from NoiseTrade.
I've also found a few Christmas Albums, so watch for those too!
Let us never forget the lives lost in the fight for our freedom, nor your example of sacrifice in your death for our eternal freedom.
We watch for your return...when everything will be new again and your glory will fill our hearts.
Looking back on all we've gotten done, I'm so thankful for my hardworking family. I didn't think we'd get this far since we don't have Noah or Josh to help.
I'm just SO glad for the fun things I did in the past few months. Although going to the beach tops them all, we also
- had many barbeques
- had Isabella and Wesley for two sleepovers
- went swimming
- went shopping
- had many birthday parties
- went to the Highland's Festival with this little Diva and her Mommy:
- The funniest part of the summer:
God has REALLY blessed us with such a wonderful world--it's so hard to remember that this isn't our home.
We're sojourners, blessed by God's grace, looking for Heaven in His creation, and finding hope of Glory in Jesus' life and resurrection.
“I just want you to know from the beginning, sir, that I am a believer,” he said. His voice was a bit harsh.
He saw a gleam in the old man’s eyes which he could not quite interpret. Was approval indicated, or did he have something up his sleeve?
The rector put the lamp back on the table, puffed at his pipe, and looked at the young man a moment before he spoke.
“So you are a believer, I’m glad to hear that. What do you believe in?”
Fridfeldt stared dumbfounded at his superior. Was he jesting with him?
“But, sir, I am simply saying that I am a believer.”
“Yes, I hear that, my boy. But what is it that you believe in?”
Fridfeldt was almost speechless.
“But don’t you know, sir, what it means to be a believer?”
“That is a word which can stand for things that differ greatly , my boy. I ask only what it is that you believe in.”
“I mean—I mean that I have given him my heart.”
The older man’s face became suddenly as solemn as the grave.
“Do you consider that something to give him?”
By this time, Fridfeldt was almost in tears.
“But sir, if you do not give your heart to Jesus, you cannot be saved.”
“You are right, my boy. And it is just as true that, if you think you are saved because you give Jesus your heart, you will not be saved. You see, my boy,” he continued reassuringly, as he continued to look at the young pastor’s face, in which uncertainty and resentment were shown in a struggle for the upper hand, it is one thing to choose Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior, to give hime one’s heart and commit oneself to him, and that he now accepts one into his little flock; it is a very different thing to believe on him as a Redeemer of sinners, of whom one is chief. One does not choose a Redeemer for oneself, you understand, nor give one’s heart to him. The heart is a rusty old can on a junk heap. A fine birthday gift, indeed! But a wonderful Lord passes by, and has mercy on the wretched tin can, sticks his walking cane through it, and rescues it from the junk pile and takes it home with Him."That is how it is.
and laughed in my pretty bed of green.
My great grandmother told us how she used to read the Bible while cooking. She said she'd read a bit of the recipe, read a scripture, then go back to the recipe. Her husband once said to her, "Okie, you can't even cook without reading the Bible." She's a real blessing to us--and a beautiful example of a woman who can't get enough of the word of God.
She's blind and can't hear very well now, so it's very hard for her because she can't read the Bible any more. My grandmother reads to her in the mornings, but she confesses that it's not the same to be able to read it for herself. Instead, she just sits and talks with Jesus.
I feel guilty around her--not because I've done anything wrong, but because of the things I haven't done. I have never really thirsted for the word of God so much that I long to read it all day long, with whatever I am doing. And I don't know the word like she does.
But I have learned to love talking with God. And I'm endlessly thankful for the 'interceding and standing in the gap' my great grandmother has done for so many people.
I want to be just like her, especially in the way she prays. I want to stand in the gap, to intercede for the broken, to be a prayer warrior, and to be as close as an earthly being can to my Father in Heaven.
Because, as Oswald Chambers wrote, "It is not so true that "prayer changes things" as that prayer changes me and I change things."
Inspiration for this post: GirlTalk: An Intenser Relish
Oswald Chambers quote from this devotion: What's the Good of Prayer?
Thankfully, I'm not strong enough to get away from His gaze or His arms. His embrace isn't wide open...His arms are wrapped tightly around me and I am bound to Him by chains of redemption. I don't have the key to unlock them. Only He can let me go.
That isn't something to hide from--it's something to shout from the tallest mountain!
Why does it matter if I understand?
God holds my heart, God holds my hand.
As he plays his ukulele on the hill above the bay
Pineapple princess, I love you, you're the sweetest girl I've seen
Some day we're gonna marry and you'll be my pineapple queen
post title: Pineapple Princess
Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.
But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.
--Blue-Butterfly Day by Robert Frost
Kitty, where have you been today? In the meadows, asleep in the hay. Kitty, you are a lazy cat, If you have done no more than that.
The aroma isn't quite as pleasing
as my oatmeal and peach preserves were;
I hope you don't mind.
Did you hear me whistle for him?
(The groundhogs usually stand when you whistle.)
All done, Tiger?
Good day, kitty. Stay dry in the wet weather.
And don't get struck by lightning.
Pretty Flowers and Sunshine....
Summer days are, in my opinion, the loveliest and most enjoyable :)
Title from Summer by William B. Tappan
I'll fly away to another state, I don't care what my friends say. We'll dance and sing 'till broad daylight...Skip to my Lou, my darlin'!
did 3 intervals of almost 30 counts on the skipping rope!
Lord, let be me that healthy when I'm her age!
post title: "Skip to My Lou," Meet Me in St. Louis
At least there were smiles and laughter as we said our last goodbyes...
title from Michael W. Smith's Friends