Thursday, July 29, 2010

Colosssians 3 (The Message)

I read this passage today, one I've read so many times before, but not in this version... Just wanted to share.

He Is Your Life
1-2 So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
5-8And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It's because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.
9-11Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
15-17Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
18Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.
19Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don't take advantage of them.
20Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end.
21Parents, don't come down too hard on your children or you'll crush their spirits.
22-25Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Love Being a Mom!

I got to hold this sweet sleeping bundle all afternoon! I love Being a Mommy!

Self Acceptance

Recently I found myself watching a late night talk show host interviewing a beautiful blonde, young, talented, actress. I listened as the host asked numerous questioned and also to her responses each filled with more self doubt than the next. Her low self esteem became so evident that the host even stopped her mid sentence to give her some "fatherly" advice and a little pep talk about self acceptance. I found myself feeling so sorry for her and yet relating with her so much. As a teenager, I always felt sub par. I remember thinking to myself if I could even be average that would be better than what I am now. Nothing I tried (and I tried alot) ever made me feel more popular, or special, or more accepted. I listen to women of all ages now and my heart aches for them as they begin comparing themselves, My hair is too straight, Mine is too Curly, I have freckles, I have brown hair and I want blonde, I weight too much, I weigh too little, I have so many wrinkles, I have gray hair, I look to old, I look to young... the list goes on and on.... I know I have been there!
Until just a few years ago, I still looked at myself in the mirror every day picking myself apart and telling myself I didn't deserve certain things because I was frankly not attractive enough. Then one day while doing a Bible Study it hit me like a brick! God made me this way! THIS WAY!! He made me to have curly hair, freckles, crooked eyes, and spaghetti arms, and all of a sudden I was able to look at myself through the eyes of my Heavenly Father. If you are a mother you know when you are holding your little one in your arms, you don't see their freckles as a disturbing sight, you love each sweet spot on their little face; that is just the way God sees us and I believe the way we should view ourselves.
I still struggle sometimes, especially when going into a new situation with new people... "Will these women accept me? Will they secretly think I'm dressed strangely? or that my hair cut is ugly?" But I have to just step back and remember that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. I am here to serve my God, not to impress with the latest trends and beauty treatments. I have to remind myself that I should be much more concerned at the appearance of my heart. I try my hardest to beautify my heart through Christ alone and to remember, I am accepted through and through by my Father; as are you sister!
Thank you Lord for making us just the way you planned. Lord you have made our planet so beautiful, you have given us wondrous stars to peer at in the darkness, and you have made us in your image, the most beautiful of all. Please help us to see the beauty that you have instilled in all creation! Thank you for being such a wonderful example of beauty through your Love and your Son. I love you Lord. Amen.