only help my unbelief

Biding the time
March 31, 2008, 1:26 am
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I didn’t know if I’d get around to posting today, but I’m trying to pay my cell phone bill online and the Verizon Web site is officially the slowest site online.

I’m actually excited about paying the bill this month, because I got a new credit card in the mail this week that I haven’t used yet. I don’t really know why I’m so excited about having a credit card. I plan on using it just like my debit card, and I think the only thing I’m going to use it for is to buy gas and to pay my cell phone bill. But for some reason, it’s giving me a thrill to have it. Whatever.

The Lord’s day today was wonderful. I’ve been helping in the toddler Sunday school class for the past six weeks or so, and it has been such a blessing. The kids are mostly 2 or 3 years old, and that is such a fun age. This morning most of my time was spent taking the ones that are potty training to the bathroom, but there are so many sweet moments. Probably my favorite time is when Mr. Campbell comes in and plays a few songs on his guitar. We sing three verses of Jesus Loves Me. Until I started helping in there, I didn’t even know the song had more than one verse.
Here are the ones we sing, but apparently there are an infinite number of verses, as shown by this site:

Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.

Jesus loves me! He who died
heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
let His little child come in.

Jesus, take this heart of mine,
Make it pure and holy thine;
On the cross you died for me,
I will try to live for Thee.

Hearing the kids sing that is precious, especially since some of them know all the verses from their parents teaching it to them at home. It’s definitely such a good model for me in how I want to raise my own children one day.

Well, the Verizon Web site is still kicking and screaming, but I’m about to go and read a bit. I was convicted tonight at church about the amount of time I don’t spend praying and reading Scripture, so I’m about to turn and go in a different direction with that.

Hopefully coming up this week: the sins of omission, how not to prepare for a 10K, and either the success or failure of a new recipe I’m trying out tomorrow.

Grace and peace!


What it means to be grown up
March 29, 2008, 4:28 pm
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This morning, I think I was faced with the incredible reality that I’m growing up.

How, you may ask, did I come to this realization?

It wasn’t because I can drink alcohol. I’ve been able to do that for over a year.

It wasn’t because I now have to pay my own bills. I’ve been doing that since I got to college.

And it wasn’t because I have to make hard decisions. I feel like daily I have to make tough choices.

No, it was much more mundane than that.

For the first time in my life, I cleaned out the microwave.

I’ve lived in an apartment with a microwave for almost three years, and I never cleaned any of them out. In fact, I’m not sure the microwave we have in our apartment now has ever been cleaned out.

I got the idea when I was wiping out the bottom tray of the fridge – something, admittedly, I’ve only done a few times, but I have done it before.

I remembered how disgusting the microwave was and recalled a blog post from a mom of five kids who said if you put a bowl of water in the microwave for a few minutes before you clean it, it loosens up all the stuff in there. I tried it, and – voila! It worked!

I have to give you some background here, so you’ll know what a big deal it was. My least favorite job in all household chores is washing dishes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would claim that, but my reason for it is probably fairly unique.

I cannot abide what I call “food particles” on my hands.

When I was a kid, I never finger-painted because I didn’t like getting anything on my hands. Now, paint doesn’t bother me so much, but food – blech.

Thus, to me, cleaning out the microwave was like drowning myself in crusty, old food particles.

But I did it, because it needed to be done. Even though I didn’t enjoy doing it at all. And I think that means I’m growing up. Finally.

Trusting the Lord in all things
March 28, 2008, 9:13 pm
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Last week at the Bible study I attend, we looked at Romans 8:28-29. I think that passage, especially the first verse, has become kind of cliche in Christian circles. Many situations leave people comforting one another with the fact that “all things work together for good.” But at Bible study, my friend Clara pointed out the connection between verses 28 and 29:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

She said the conjunction at the beginning of verse 29, “for,” is key to understanding this passage, because it brings the two verses together. What God is really saying in these two verses that the “all things working together for good” means “being conformed to the image of Christ.” I had never seen that before in these verses.

It changes our whole view of suffering and trials, because I know that in my own life it’s sometimes difficult to concur with God that certain outcomes are good. I’m a sinner, so I don’t see things the way God sees them, and I don’t always think that what He puts in my life is good. Thankfully, God doesn’t expect me to always understand. What He does expect, though, is that I trust that whatever He puts in my life has been given to me that I might become more like Christ.

I’m currently struggling with trusting God about the future, most specifically about jobs. Like I said yesterday, I received an internship at The State newspaper for 12 weeks, but another job prospect opened up yesterday that I wasn’t expecting. I’m starting to get confused about what I should do, and how I should be use the skills God has given me, and how I should trust Him about the more mundane things of life like health insurance and credit cards.

I kind of fell apart today when I thought about it all, but a talk with my mom reassured me that the Lord really is capable of taking care of everything in my life, and my mind went back to those verses from Romans 8.

Even if I end up working at Starbucks for the rest of my life, God will take care of me, and He will not only sustain me at a constant level, but He will keep challenging me so that I look more and more like Christ every day.

And isn’t that all we want? To be one of the many brethren among whom Christ was the firstborn.

I’m going to keep praying that I would look at every circumstance with spiritual eyes, setting my heart on the eternal instead of the temporal. I encourage you to do the same.

No fear in death
March 27, 2008, 4:55 pm
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I know I haven’t written in a while – almost a whole month. Sorry about that. Thankfully, though, I don’t think anyone has missed my blog.

A lot has happened. Christian has been here and gone, and in the time he was here, the Lord gave both of us jobs after graduation. Christian will be working at The Cason Group, and I have a copy editing internship at The State newspaper.

I graduate six weeks from tomorrow, and Christian is flying in six weeks from today. It will be hard to wait until then to see him, but I keep reminding myself that, unless the Lord comes back first, we won’t have to say goodbye for a long, long time.

The Lord has put me on the sanctification fast track over the past couple of months as I’ve been at school and church. I am almost constantly around people who don’t know the Lord, which I’m really thankful for. It helps remind me to keep my behavior excellent and above reproach. I can’t say I’ve done anything perfectly – I’m definitely still a sinner – but the Lord is really teaching me what it means to walk in the Spirit instead of in the flesh.

I’m gearing up to run in the Cooper River Bridge Run next weekend. It’s a 6.2 mile race, so the training has been tough, but I think I’m ready. Yesterday I was running at the Strom and this song came on my iPod:

When I go, don’t cry for me
In my Father’s arms I’ll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I’ll be whole.
Sun and moon will be replaced
With the light of Jesus’ face
And I will not be ashamed
For my Savior knows my name.

It don’t matter where you bury me,
I’ll be home and I’ll be free.
It don’t matter where I lay,
All my tears be washed away.

Gold and silver blind the eye
Temporary riches lie
Come and eat from heaven’s store,
Come and drink, and thirst no more

So, weep not for me my friends,
When my time below does end
For my life belongs to Him
Who will raise the dead again.

And it hit me – how much could the Lord accomplish through me if I’m not afraid to die? The words of the song captured my heart and made me think of heaven, where I will no longer sin every other moment, where I will no longer face disappointment, where I will be held tightly in the arms of Christ.

If I’m not afraid to die, then I don’t have to be afraid of boasting in the Lord at school.

If I’m not afraid to die, then I don’t have to worry about the future. The best possible future is heaven, and one day, I will be there.

If I’m not afraid to die, then I don’t have to wonder what other people think of me. Even if they hate me and threaten my very life, the worst that can happen is that I end up in heaven where “sun and moon will be replaced with the light of Jesus’ face.”