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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Being Seperate in a "Normal" World

This is a picture of Alaena and her "Shaw-aw-awn" (Southern little girl for Shawn.) She loves Shawn. Funnily enough, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to how country she sounded when she said his name. Likely because I'm a southern girl, with southern parents, southern grandparents. In other words, what I heard was normal.
However, Shawn said, "She sure is country when she says my name." Now don't misunderstand, Shawn has a southern drawl to compete with the best of them, but he has family who isn't from here who pick on him incessantly for his accent. So he hears it more in himself and others.
Anyway, I started thinking about all the things we just let pass through our lives as "the norm" anymore. The pastoral candidate at our church right now has been studying Psalm 1 on Wednesday nights, and he has talked about the righteous person, and the ungodly person and the differences between them.
A truly righteous person is a rare gem these days. This person is someone who steers clear of the ways of the ungodly person. Check out the first verse of Psalm 1:

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."

A truly righteous person doesn't listen to the counsel of the ungodly. (For example, they look to God's Word for direction, not Oprah.) As I sat thinking about what I look at as normal, I realized that I myself sometimes look to this world's counsel. I think, Hmmm, if that works for them, then maybe I should try it... And it isn't on necessarily bad things, but God told us to look to Him as our authority on EVERYTHING. Why? Because if we start to look to the world as our directive on the small, seemingly meaningless things, eventually we will look to them for the bigger things, the things that matter. Eventually we'll find ourselves saying, "Well is THAT really so wrong?"
A truly righteous person also doesn't stay stuck in sin. They don't just stand there thinking, "Hey, this makes me happy, it's not going to hurt." They realize the wrong they are doing, and they can't stay there. That's not to say this person is sinless, but they can't stand being in that sin for long. The close relationship they have with God won't allow them to stay there. Today, it's normal to "stand in the way of sinners." Open sin is looked over, even in many church settings.
I'm not saying this to judge churches or people. I'm saying this out of love. I've been there myself, and I realized that just because I tried to justify something, God had never moved his stance on the situation. I pray that I'll strive to be a truly righteous person, and when I do fall into sin, I pray I won't stay there.
Basically, I'm going to strive to make sure that I don't accept those things God sees as wrong as something normal. Because I want to live a life that He sees as useful. I want to live a life that He is pleased with. I want to live a life that is seperate from this world.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Revival of the Blog

Well, Blogging Buddies, I know that it has been forever since my last post. Life has been so hectic and crazy that I felt I could never catch my breath, much less make logical statements from the million thoughts floating through my brain. My boyfriend Shawn said he has never met people who go so much, what he doesn't realize is that though I am used to going a lot, the past several months has been insane, even for me.

Because of the hectic state of things, I decided to take the week after Christmas off of work, and let me tell you, it was just what I needed. A week to spend time with Alaena and Shawn and the rest of my family and just relax. It was wonderful, and it helped me clear my head a bit.

So, here a few days into this new year, I've decided to begin the blog anew. I'm not going to promise anything daily, or hold myself to any kind of schedule, but if I have a word or two I feel I should share, I'm gonna post it.

Today I'm gonna talk about holding onto things too tightly. Pictured above is Alaena, holding her "puuuuupppyyyyy" (that's Southern little girl for puppy). She loves the puppy. She constantly wants to hold the puppy, and the puppy has pretty much resigned herself to that, as you can see in the picture above. But there are times when Alaena wants to hold on just a bit too tightly, and the poor puppy finally decides she has had enough and tries to escape.
I find myself trying to pry the poor puppy from Alaena's hands, offering her anything else to distract her attention from the puppy, punishing her when she screams about losing the puppy.
But as frustrating as prying that puppy away from her at times can be, I realize that sometimes I act just like her. God will try to pry something from my grasp, and I try just as hard to hold onto it for dear life, kicking and screaming when He takes it away when all the time He is offering something better.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
God's plan is never to harm us. He never does anything to bring us evil. He has a plan for our lives, and He never takes anything out of our lives that He doesn't replace with something much better.
I pray that I will hold things a little more loosely and realize that God knows best when He rearranges my life!