Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On Christmas....

"But what God did about us was this. The Second person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into a world as an actual man- a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular colour, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything, and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a foetus(fetus) inside a Woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab."  C.S. Lewis

Okay, so maybe it's weird to start a blog using someone else's words, but Mr. Lewis had a better way with words than your humble blogger. 

As Christmas draws near, I think it is important to remember the absolute miracle of why we celebrate. Admittedly, Jesus was actually born sometime in summer, but let's not get caught up in details. Instead, allow yourself to be immersed in the wonder of an all knowing, all powerful God stepping down from His Throne, to become like us. And here's the amazing-ness of it, He did it willingly and out of love!

I find it hard to understand, hard to grasp that God would give up Heaven to become a carpenter. That He would don the robes of a peasant having been the Maker of the finest silk. That He, the Creator of All Things, would allow Himself to be brutally murdered in the place of me. 

Every Christmas, I always long for Easter. I know it's silly, to trade Santa for a Bunny, right? But Jesus never told us to remember his birth. He told us to remember his death and resurrection.He instituted Communion for just that reason. I have blogged about this before, but I will summarize my thoughts. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christmas loses it meaning. It is His triumph over death that secures our salvation. I do not say this to belittle His birth, but to emphasize the resurrection. 

So as we celebrate the birth the God Child, let us not forget the God Man who died for us. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


So you may have noticed there has been a slow down in my blogging. That's pretty sad considering I was just getting started. Let me explain myself. My family is going through a huge change right now and it keeps trying to work it's way into my writing. I am not yet comfortable discussing this issue fully. There are many details that go into it and I have not yet decided what will and will not be shared. Chris and I are both in serious prayer regarding it, and if you feel led to join us in prayer we would appreciate it. Wisdom is what we need more than anything.

I have however made the decision to stay honest and positive throughout the whole thing. That is a choice we each make for ourselves. People will try to hurt you, dissuade you, change you. Being true to Christ within yourself is where the power lies. I know what God has said and I will not be moved!

The song really has nothing to do with the situation at hand but dang, I love to see that girl rocking her voice to some serious distortion for Jesus!! However the chorus is exactly what I believe...

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All the days of her life... really?

Proverbs 31:12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

Well, this one could be a toughie. You've all seen the I Love Lucy reruns on t.v. I'm sure. They are hilarious, the things that woman would get herself into, and a lot of times at her husbands expense. I admit I am guilty of laughing my "you know what" off at the misfortune of poor Ricky on more than one occasion. Granted it would usually backfire; like the time she wanted to test his love for her by pretending there had been a break in. Check this out

I doubt any of us have gone to that length to bring our husbands harm, but what have we done? Have we nagged them with the list of things we want done around the house? Have we focused on the negative things in their personality as opposed to following the Biblical standard of Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Let's make it personal, have I done all I can to uplift my husband? A fabulous place to start is to be in prayer for him daily. Stormie Omartian (I always think of her as an alien) has a great book and devotional "The Power of a Praying Wife" that can guide you in how to pray for your husband. Everything from his job, relationships with others and his walk with Christ. I recommend this book to any wife!

Secondly, put those prayers into action! Allow God to mold you into the wife he has planned for you to be.  We can see in Titus 2 what a great wife is made of. "3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." It's a hefty responsibility but definitely possible with the help of the LORD. 

More again later, hopefully God will let me skip over the whole "gets up while it is still dark" part... but we'll see!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Proverbs 31

Confession, I have started this blog several times, and each time it goes in a different direction. Probably because my mind is in a constant state of pandemonium lately. Errant thoughts and feelings keep working their way to the surface, no matter how much I try to control them. So here's another attempt...

I have been reading Proverbs 31, and I gotta be honest, I don't always measure up. I don't have a clue what flax is much less what to do with it! Not to mention I am so not a morning person. But does that mean I should give up? Absolutely not! Verse 10 says "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies". What woman wouldn't want to be considered "worth far more than rubies" by God and their husband? So how do I go about becoming this prize of a wife? Let's first figure out what it means to be "of noble character".

Today Chris heard a teaching on the radio about the difference between personality and character. The long and short of it was personality you're born with. It's how God made you; your physical, mental, emotional and social characteristics. It's your disposition, sense of humor, your very essence. Character, on the other hand is something altogether different, it can be learned and refined. I found several definitions for character on dictionary.com

qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity
good repute
moral or ethical quality

Honesty seems a good place to start. What may seem like a little white lie leads to a lifestyle of deceit. It should be our goal to live an honest life, speaking the truth even if it's not the popular idea among our friends. That requires us to be courageous. Standing up for what you believe in the midst of adversity is no easy task. But if we are trying to live Biblically, we should know that God is on our side in this! 

To be of good repute: how do others see you? Are you a positive influence on others or do you drag them down. Are you a terrible gossip or use words that you know are unbecoming of a Christian? Do you try to share the reason for your joy or focus on the negative in your life all the time. These are all things to consider.

Moral or ethical quality... what do you do when no one is looking? Does right and wrong only matter when someone is watching you? Even more basic than that, do you know right from wrong in a situation? We should try to use the Bible as our standard of living, not society. The world at large has practically no morals, so even if we are doing well by the world's standards, we may not be living as God would want us to.

I'm not sure how the rest of this will play out, but for now my intention is to dissect several verses from Proverbs 31. Not the whole thing... unless God tells me to and then I would have to be obedient. Until then, I'll be thinking of how to be "of noble character" and encourage you to do the same :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Doesn't Remind Me

Today Chris got to lead a song by one of his favorite artists and boy did he rock it out! As I watched him from the crowd, my heart swelled with pride and I was taken back to the summer after 9th grade. I remember seeing him, his hair at the in between stage of short and growing out, wristbands and a guitar, and I thought he was a Rock and Roll Jesus. And now, 16 years later he's rocking out for Jesus. We have both come so far and still have quite a road to travel.

I didn't really "grow up" in church, my Nana and Aunt Gail would take me some Sundays, but it was not a part of my nuclear family's life. I remember getting ready with Nana, she would let me use some of her red (and I mean RED) lipstick, and she would put a shawl on my shoulders and I thought I was grown up! She and my aunt were both Godly influences on my life while at the time I don't think I fully realized the impact they would have on me.

So here's the connection to the song... My life today "Doesn't Remind Me" of my youth. It is something totally new and foreign, but in a good way. A lot of people have more of a Christian background than me, have been "at it" longer than I have, and are way better at it than I am. But the point in all of it is... I am being shaped and molded daily into the person God would have me to be. He uses my family, friends, His Word. He uses blessings and trials, success and failure. And I think he does all this to remind me, You're not who I want you to be yet, but by My Blood, you're not who you were. My sins have been moved as far as the East is from the West, and he  "Doesn't remind me" of them!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

This all started from a crisis of faith

Have you ever had those moments where you really examine what you believe and wonder, do I really believe this? It is easy to get trapped in the routine of going to church and not ever really thinking about the significance of it. It's more than just going to a building a couple of times a week, singing a few songs, and putting some money in a plate. In fact after doing some research, I think it is an inaccurate phrase to say "We go to church". What's more truthful would be to say "We are the church".

Sure, it's getting popular to say "The church isn't the building, it's the people" so much so it has almost become cliche'. But how many people actually believe that? I went to a church leadership conference at Savannah Christian Church several years ago. I saw a sign above the exit that said "The church has left the building". I liked that when I saw it, but didn't take it to heart. I have immersed myself in the world of going to a show every Sunday and singing some songs and listening to a sermon for 40 minutes and calling that church.

I guess what I'm saying is I want something more than that. I want true growth that comes only from the Holy Spirit. I want authentic relationships that comes from being in one another's lives daily. I want to "worship in spirit and in truth" as it says in John 4:23-24.  I don't want to be caught up in big crowds and fog machines. I want honest people and pure love. I am trading in rules and regulations for freedom and grace.

I'm not saying anything negative about church in general, it is good for us to worship the Lord with other believers. God made us to be social creatures, to be in relationship with Him and others. But true relationship cannot usually come from a Sunday morning experience. It comes from being involved in each others lives, and knowing others needs and their weaknesses. And here's where the hard part is, Bum bum bum...(dramatic movie music here): sharing your own weaknesses. . When you involve yourself with others, you will know their troubles and they will know yours and that level of vulnerability can be hard. I know it is for me.

I spent years learning how to build up walls around my heart, to keep people at an arm's length in order to preserve myself. But I am learning life is not about self preservation it's about dying to self. It's not about being independent, it's about being dependent on God. He has called us to actively seek Him and be a light in the darkest place. That darkest place is the world in which we live. And our light should be a reflection of His.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feeling it

Well, it was my birthday the other day, and as always it gets me thinking.

I remember growing up my family would always ask me "Do you feel any older?". My response was typically no and possibly rolling my eyes. But as I get older the answer tends to be yes. My body feels older. My skin is changing, I'm getting aches and pains, little lines that used to disappear now hold their form a bit more. I'm almost to the point of having to admit, yes, I am a grown up. And I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I have always felt older than I am but that's not to say that I have always made the best choices. In fact most of my teenage years were spent in rebellion to that growing up. I did things I shouldn't have, had friends that were not always the best for me, and got into as much trouble as I could without in fact garnering a rap sheet.

So, as I get older and I begin to see more and more of myself in my daughter I can't help but wonder... what have I done?! Is she destined to follow in my footsteps and make the same mistakes I did? Or does having a Christ centered family give her an advantage I didn't have? I know full well that following Jesus does not make me immune to the effects of the world, nor will it protect my family from outside circumstances, but it does give us something to hold on to. As a kid, when things went wrong, I felt like my life was falling apart. I didn't understand that God had a plan for me. I didn't know that He would love me no matter what hair brained scheme or potentially life threatening situation I got myself in to.

My prayer is that since Lilly is being raised in that faith, she will be stronger because of Christ in her. It will still be a bumpy road, with ups and downs, but my prayer is that we can make it together as a family, with God at the head.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In the beginning...

No I'm not gonna quote the entire book of Genesis but at least allow me to introduce myself... I am Melissa; a follower of Jesus, wife to Chris and mother of Lilly. I can be quite eccentric, but have a touch of OCD. The things I find entertaining are not that of a typical "Christian" and I think that's okay. In the scheme of things I think I have suffered more than my fair share of loss but refuse to be beaten by it. I will speak openly and honestly about a myriad of subjects from a Scripture that I have been reading to something in my life that is going on.

 This is the beginning of what could be something important for me, and hopefully for you. Sometimes it is easier to write out my thoughts, and not allow my tongue to get in the way, which can trip over itself and doesn't always communicate directly with my brain. The things I say on here may not be Earth shattering revelations, but they may just make you think.

As Solomon said "There is nothing new under the sun". Don't expect groundbreaking stuff out of my musings.This is simply a creative avenue for me to express myself and possibly bring you on my journey, bumpy as it may be.

So I invite you to join me, laugh and cry with me, and share. You have been led to this place for a reason, let's explore that together. Feel free to comment or question, or just ramble along with me. Hang on to your hats, when you ask God to move in your life, He will, and it can be a bumpy ride.