Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentines and resolutions

We had some old friends of ours move into the neighborhood, and I've been meaning to give them a "welcome" gift for months now... well finally Valentine's presented the opportunity - and a good opportunity for my kids to learn that Valentine's just isn't about getting candy and cute holographic cards from schoolmates.

On Saturday we made a heart-cut out cookies and pink striped fudge and wrapped up a bunch of bowls for gifts. We tied on gift cards with a heart & a cross and one of my favorite quotes about love "Only love can be endlessly divided and still not diminish". Then Sunday we delievered our pink goodies to a dozen of our neighbors and a few other friends & elderly folks from our church that don't get out much anymore.

One of my favorite proverbs is 11:25: "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." And it's so true - to see the surprised pleasure of our neighbors receiving their Valentines was just as much pleasure for me. And hopefully for the girls, too.

The idea to reach out to our neighbors was a direct result of praying over my goals for this year. So one month after I set these goals for myself, here's my first update:

1) Psalm 119:164 "seven times a day I praise You" - my seven days are few and far between. This is by far the resolution I need to concentrate the most on, because it has such an impact on everything else I do.

2) Bible study: it’s my turn later this morning to lead the study of Colossians at Mom’s Bible study. The topic is salvation! – a heady subject – esp. since we have had new people coming – they weren’t there last week but I pray they might be this week, I have no idea if these ladies are saved or not. On Monday, I spent the entire morning in the Word preparing for this (no school on Monday so I stayed home with the kids). What riches are ours when we really dig into the Word! I discovered all sorts of interesting things looking up cross-references to the preeminence of Christ as expressed in Colossians 1:15-18. One thing I discovered was that both God and Christ have the title "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" in the Bible. Another powerful proof of the deity of Christ. Also, a wonderful parallel to Colossian 1:15-18 and John 1:1-5 is found in Hebrews 1:3. I also discovered a new passage on salvation that I hadn't really noticed before: 2 Corinthians 4:2-6 (see below).

3) Memorizing verses. So, I decided to memorize 2 Corinthians 4:2-6 (and 7 too) after I discovered it. I think I am being led to memorize verses on salvation right now, because of the Fam Club. I was able to fast from 10:30 to 5:30 this past Saturday, which included a big chunk of time in prayer. It wasn't easy - it was a constant battle not to give into the desire for a little snack, to get back to prayer instead. But it was so worth it. Also during that time I read over all the Fam Club posts since 2006 when it started, full of encouraging testimonies from others who have fasted and prayed for family members and saw the Lord answer their prayers!

2 Corinthians 4:2-7 setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
What I do with these verses is turn them into a prayer: Lord, please unveil the gospel so ____ can see, make Your light shine in their hearts so that they may see Your glory in the face of Christ...

4) Pray more with my family (and for my family). I found a children’s lesson on love, based on 1 Cor 13, for Valentine’s day, to help my children understand the Biblical definition of love. Together we made two lists as we read these verses, a list of "what love is" and a list of "what love is not" and then prayed for each other on one specific quality. I am doing much better at remembering to pray with the girls before bed time.

5) Pay more attention to others around me. Keep my eyes open for people at church to encourage. I actually introduced myself to two people at church I haven't met before. This is a big thing for me to step outside of my comfort zone like this. But how will I ever experience the blessing of seeing someone come to the Lord, or a new believer to grow in the Lord through discipleship, if I don't step outside my comfort zone more? Speaking of comfort zones and how hard they are to get out of, that's kind of related to issues of insecurity, which I have still have loads of. I just wanted to mention that on the livingproofministries blog Beth Moore is doing a So Long Insecurity discussion group. I've had this book less than a week and I'm almost finished reading it. It is good, good stuff. I'll definitely be blogging about this one more!

6) Live a better story, more meaningful scenes. Okay, so finally I did something here! - my little Valentines for neighbors project with the girls. Now Lord can you give me another idea?

7) Lose weight/eat healthier/turning to you instead of food. Ever since my birthday, this has been absolutely dismal. I had lost 4 pounds, and I bet anything I have gained it right back. I am only getting out to walk about once a week. But now that the days are getting longer, I should be able to get out more.

8) Writing – other than this blog, I haven't written anything since February started. I should go back to my 200 words a day... even though the 200 words were usually weak or need to be completely cut or re-written, at least it kept in me in writing mode.

9) Get to places on time. This one is marginally better, but let's see if I actually get to Bible study on time this morning... since it's my turn to lead I had better!

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