Of school that is!! =) Today we finally started back to school and schedule once again. It's a nice feeling to "get back at it" - it would have been even nicer if things had run as smoothly as they had when I was imagining how it would go!! Our girls are Not "sleeper-in-ers" as a general rule! Often they are awake before 7am, and we have a rule that they are not allowed out of bed (unless to use the bathroom), until 7am - which isn't usually a problem. Since we've come back from Canada though, almost every night has been a late one, and they have been sleeping in until sometimes 8am!! Last night was no exception of staying up late, so when I woke the girls up just after 7am this morning, there were a few grumpies that needed to be worked out!
This sign was made by the young people:
"Jesus Christ says, in effect, Don't rejoice in successful service, but rejoice because you are rightly related to Me. The snare in Christian work is to rejoice in successful service, to rejoice in the fact that God has used you. You never can measure what God will do through you if you are rightly related to Jesus Christ. Keep your relationship right with Him, then whatever circumstances you are in, and whoever you meet day by day, He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know it. ... It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him."
How easy it is for me to list of the things I've "done" or "am doing" for the Lord. Yet when I look at my own heart, and see a quick temper, impatience, and lack of love for others - what can I boast in?
"If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness."
(2 Corinthians 11:30)
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ... For when I am weak, then I am strong."
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Then in my personal reading this morning, I read, "Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 16:24-25). My heart burned thinking of times and circumstances I have wasted on myself, instead of using them faithfully for Him. When I was talking to my sister on the phone a week or so ago, we were talking about struggles with sin that we have. I told her, "You know, while I understand where people are coming from to a certain extent, it frustrates me when someone says, 'You're being too hard on yourself!' We serve a Holy God. His Word tells us, "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:14-16) I wonder sometimes if half of our problems of complacency and apathy as Christians is because we don't take these verses to heart. I don't want to be a "half-beat" Christian. I want to live my life giving honour and glory to God, and His beloved Son (and my Saviour!), Jesus Christ. I fail at this daily, but I don't want my failure to stop the desire. This past Friday was my birthday. I turned 27 - wow, young, eh!?! =) That day marked 27 years that I have been "in Christ". Not only hours and days of those years have been wasted, but years have been wasted. I was reminding Mika the other day of a poem,
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last."
It's easy for me to "work" on overcoming some sins, and ignore the "accepted" ones. You know, like being angry, impatient, having a lack of love for others. Ones I mentioned earlier. They certainly aren't terrible sins like lying, stealing, murdering, or commiting adultery. Ha! Just believing that those sins are less of an offense to God is a lie. These sins definitely hinder my life and its usefulness for Christ. I was thinking recently specifically of another person's sins who are affecting other people. It struck me almost immediately that there are people all around me (4 little and 1 big specifically) whom I affect daily as well. I often find myself "preaching" to myself as I am disciplining my girls.
Whew! I wasn't intending to write all this when I sat down, in fact, I think it was going to be a quick little post to show the happenings of the last few days. I hope some of these thoughts and "ramblings" are a blessing to you, and I'll be "back" in a few days hopefully, with more updates.