RSS

Author Archives: Kimmy

About Kimmy

Hi there! My name is Kimmy and welcome to my little space of the Internet! I am just a regular person saved by grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. A few of my interests are theology, running, horseback riding, baking, ASL, the flute, reading, and laughing with friends.

Study for the Sake of Study

Last week my small group got on the topic of envy and jealousy. I actually can’t remember how; I think it had to do with one of the verses we were discussing. And someone asked what the difference between the two was. Do you know that not one of us really had an answer to that question? It’s not like they are deep theological concepts or Hebrew words! They are plain and simple English words but we couldn’t tell you the difference between them. We all admitted that we use them mostly interchangeably. So one person suggested that it might be a good idea to do a word study on envy and jealousy.

AHA! And that’s when I got excited! If you don’t know me, there’s nothing I like better than studying God’s Word and discussing it (calmly) with others! So I went home last week and did a word study. If you don’t know what that is, it basically just involves looking up each verse that has the word (or a related word) in it and reading it in context to get an idea of the meaning. It involves research and a lot of cross-referencing and I love it. By the time I was done I had four pages of notes on envy and jealousy.

You can bet I was READY for Sunday night. I was real close to bringing a couple books I have that talked about envy and jealousy but decided to make notes from the sections and just take my notebook. Better not OVERDO it. 🙂 But I know something about myself: I have this bad habit where I’m super excited to discuss something and no one else cares….so since this wasn’t actually our main study, I decided I was not going to bring it up. I would let someone else bring it up and if no one did, that just means our focus was on our book study. But since I figured everyone must be eager to discuss it too, it would probably come up, right?

Nope. We went the whole night and not one word on envy or jealousy. We had a great discussion on our book, but everyone seemed to have forgotten about the previous week.

When I got home that night, I suddenly remembered a quote that I recently heard from J.I. Packer in his book Knowing God:

The fact we have to face is this: that if we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. It will make us proud and conceited. The very greatness of the subject-matter will intoxicate us, and we shall come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it and grasp of it; and we shall look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate, and dismiss them as very poor specimens. For, as Paul told the conceited Corinthians, ‘knowledge puffeth up… if any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth not yet as he ought to know’ (1Cor. 8:1 f. RV). To be preoccupied with getting theological knowledge as an end in itself, to approach Bible study with no higher a motive than a desire to know all the answers, is the direct route to a state of self-satisfied self-deception. We need to guard our hearts against such an attitude, and pray to be kept from it. As we saw earlier, there can be no spiritual health without doctrinal knowledge; but it is equally true that there can be no spiritual health with it, if it is sought for the wrong purpose and valued by the wrong standard. In this way, doctrinal study really can become a danger to spiritual life, and we today, no less than the Corinthians of old, need to be on our guard here.

To say I was convicted would be the understatement of the century. I should probably print that out and stick it on every wall of my house. I think a lot of my life has been pursuing theological knowledge just for the sake of it. Although I would never tell you that at the time. I always feel like my motives are in the right place but most often they are rooted in pride, instead of a love for my Savior, a desire to know him more, and to live practically for him.

Was that word study worth the time and effort? You better believe it. Because NOW I can see areas of envy and jealousy in my own life that I need to work on. Instead of it just being about the knowledge, it’s actually about the application of God’s Word; to God himself, to the world around me, and to my own life.

“If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”
1 Corinthians 8:2-3

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 30, 2019 in theology

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pros of Memory Loss

I’ve shared before that I have a lot of trouble with memory retention. I used to have a superb memory but after I started having seizures and headaches, my memory level dropped waaaaayyy down. Part of it is because of the seizures and part is because of the meds. I already know all this. Some days, this really bothers me. I feel like an old lady but because I’m NOT old, I’m not given the same grace from those around me.

Today though, I’d like to talk about the UPSIDE of having less memory. Believe it or not, there are several things I’ve just recently started to notice that are great side effects of NOT being able to remember things!

  1. I have become an expert in mnemonic devices. Don’t know what a mnemonic device is? It’s a memory device, usually a pattern of letters or numbers, that you associate with something else that helps you remember things. For instance, I could never remember the letters in my license plate. I knew they started with an H but the rest eluded me. Finally I came up with a mnemonic device for it. The letters are HNS. The was I remember it is He Never Stops. Which in my mind is short for He Never Stops Loving Us but I just realized it could also relate to people on the road. 🙂 Whatever way you go with a mnemonic device, it just has to be something that triggers YOUR brain! I have so many of them that people at work joke that I have one for everything!
  2. I can surprise myself. I don’t normally consider myself a funny person but sometimes I write funny little notes on instructions for other people and then months later I find them and get to laugh at myself! I have also started putting a short note inside books I’ve read this year that recap the book for me so if I pull it out again I can remember. Those will be great to read when I forget what I wrote! This year, I went to decorate for Christmas and found that I didn’t have any lights so I went and got some. Later, not only did I find the lights I bought at the end of last year, but some decorative lights that I’ve been meaning to buy for FOREVER! It’s great when you can surprise yourself because you’ve totally forgotten what you’ve done.
  3. I can reread books and re-watch shows. To be honest, I’d rather not have to reread books. There is a surplus of good books in the world and I always have too many on my hands to read. But the same cannot be said for TV shows. One of my favorite shows is The Great British Baking Show. A couple weeks ago, I went back and re-watched the first season, which I’ve already seen, just to get some baking inspiration. As all the bakers arrived, I suddenly realized I had NO CLUE who won that season. So I kept watching. People, I got all the way to the final on a show I’ve already watched and still didn’t know who was going to win! You might think this is really sad, but for me, I just enjoyed watching a show again that I really love.

And so while some days I stand and stare blankly at a customer who comes in every day, desperately trying to remember their name; other days I laugh at a hilarious password I created, use a mnemonic device to remember the differences between S and C corporations, and go home to watch a show I’ve blissfully forgotten. God has shown abounding grace towards me in this journey and I’m so thankful for that!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 23, 2019 in epilepsy

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Put off, Put on

Most people are surprised to learn that I’m an introvert. But really, I am. I can choose to be extroverted and I recognize the value of that, but on the inside, I’m very introverted. On the other hand, I’m also very opinionated and can be outspoken (no wonder everyone is confused) so this week has been really convicting for me. Keep reading….

My small group is working through The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. Which is a great book by the way! I read it in high school but I really don’t remember much from it so this is a good refresher. Last week’s chapter was on having Holiness in Spirit because we all know that you can’t just change outward behavior and be holy. It all begins in our hearts. I was cruising through the chapter when I suddenly hit this line:

“One of the most difficult defilements of spirit to deal with is the critical spirit. A critical spirit is rooted in pride. Because of the “plank” of pride in our own eye we are not capable of dealing with the “speck” of need in someone else.” pg 110

The paragraph goes on but I wrote in my book in large letters: STRUGGLE! I really struggle with a critical spirit! I can be very opinionated (no really?) and quick to point out the flaws in others without regard to their needs. All rooted in pride.

Which brings me to my second punch in the gut for the week. The sermon on Sunday was on Ephesians 4:25-32 and he outlined loving ways of communication. I just wanted to cover up my head and hide. I’m terrible at good communication! It takes me a long time to figure out what I’m actually feeling and by then I think it’s too long to bring it back up but it’s still bugging me and so I sit in silence and brood. Anyone else have this issue? No? Just me? Okay.

Anyway, one of his points really his home with me (ALL of his points were very practical and useful!) He said to ask yourself if YOUR attitude is right before approaching another person AND to ask if this is what the OTHER person needs.

Many times I approach people to get things off my chest. It’s weighing me down, driving me nuts, and so I bring something up (usually from weeks ago because I couldn’t gather my thoughts) so we can talk through it. But maybe that’s just what I selfishly need, not what is most loving towards that person. If it’s not sinful or harmful for our relationship, I should really cover it in love. (1 Peter 4:8, Proverbs 17:9) SO hard to do when you’ve got a prideful, critical spirit to deal with! But that’s loving my neighbor as myself.

Over all, a pretty convicting and challenging week for this outspoken girl. However, just keeping my negative thoughts to myself isn’t enough. That’s not what the Bible calls us to. God has loftier things in mind for his children. Not only am I to put off my critical self, but I’m to put on gentleness, compassion, and encouragement for others. (Col. 3) It’s not enough to just empty myself of a sinful habit if I’m not also filling my soul with a righteous one.

The beauty of it is that the more I fill myself up with God’s Word and I practically apply what it says, the less negative thoughts even come to mind. What a blessing the Holy Spirit is! Reliance on him is the key to overcoming any sin habit.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 18, 2019 in encouragment

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Listening to Rap

If you had told me ten years ago that in 2019 I would be writing a blog post about Kanye West, I would have laughed in blissful ignorance and then asked, “Wait, who’s Kanye West, anyway?” If you had told me five years ago that I would be writing a post on Kanye West I probably would have said very seriously, “So how bad is it?”

And yet here I am. Not only writing a post on the famous singer, but writing it after having listened to his latest album 4 times in the last week.

To give you some background, Kanye isn’t my style. To say the least. I held out for a long time on this album because I was sure I wouldn’t like it. I despise rap music and have exactly ONE rap-ish song in my running playlist. That’s all. I don’t even know any others. But eventually all the various opinions on his album got to me and I decided I needed to hear the music myself. If you aren’t quite up to speed or have NO IDEA who I’m talking about, maybe do some research on this man. It’s fairly interesting.

So last week as I was driving home from work, I bravely opened Spotify and searched for Kanye’s Jesus is King album. And I started it. I quickly discovered that THIS is the kind of music subwoofers are built for and mine needed to go all the way down. 🙂

I. Was. Floored. As I listened I sat in amazement at the words I was hearing. Had I really picked the right album? Was this the same person? By the third song I was wiping tears from my eyes as I thanked God for the incredible ways he changes hearts! Over and over again I realized that is a brother of mine in Christ! This man literally had another song where he sang “I am a god” and now he’s singing “Jesus is Lord!” from the rooftops!

There has been a lot of criticism from the church about the theology of his lyrics. But what I heard was a new believer working out his faith. To be honest, I heard more direct gospel and more about Jesus in his songs than some other Christian artists I listen to.

I’m so thankful I listened. Rap music isn’t my style but Christ-music always is. It caused me to pray harder for this believer and it made me cry out praise and thanksgiving to our Savior! Who would have thought??

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 5, 2019 in music

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Superficial Friendship

If you’re a friend of mine and actually know me, this post is probably going to sound really hypocritical. It’s not something I’m very good at and yet here I am- writing about it. That’s usually the way it goes though. I write about the things I’m learning and being convicted of, not the things I’ve “mastered.” So just know that I really am preaching to the choir right now.

I promise this is my last post on Because He Loves Me, but there is one more point I wanted to pull from that book and share with you all. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while but the way she put it hit me hard.

Have you ever noticed that all humans desire intimacy? Every single person I know WANTS to have deep, meaningful relationships and every single person I know struggles to have them. Personally, I have a really hard time communicating my thoughts and that gets in my way sometimes but other times, it’s my pride. And that’s something I’ve seen a lot. We all want deep relationships and friendships but pull away from the only things that leads to them: transparency and vulnerability. I have tried SO many times to have deep, spiritual conversations with close friends, only to get superficial responses to my questions. But I know that I’ve also been on the other end of that line, doing the same thing to friends. Both leave me frustrated.

So this section in Because He Loves Me really stood out to me:

“As I’ve traveled around the country, speaking at good Bible-believing churches, I’ve discovered that the kind of biblical relationship to which I think the New Testament call us is almost nonexistent. For example, I recently spoke at a conference that was well attended by women who were serious about their faith. They weren’t ‘playing church,’ and they wouldn’t have thought of themselves as tourists. But when I asked for a show of hands of those who were in a biblical relationship with others to whom they regularly confessed sin, expected accountability, and regularly confronted the sins of those same others, only a smattering of hands went up. That’s not to say these dear sisters weren’t eager to follow the Lord. It was just that this kind of relationship, this depth of biblical fellowship, was way beyond their normal practice.
This kind of fellowship I’m enjoining flies right in the face of our American individualism and desire for privacy. We don’t want anyone poking around in our affairs, and we certainly don’t want to be accused of poking about in anyone else’s. This idolatry of privacy and individualism is one of the greatest detriments to sanctification in the church today. God has placed us in a family because we don’t grow very well on our own. It’s still not good to be alone. We need the encouragement, correction, and loving involvement of others who are willing to risk everything for the sake of the beauty of his bride.” pg. 177-178

I’ve been mulling this over for weeks and I still believe she hit the nail right on the head. Have you ever tried to have a confession or accountability time with friends? It can be like PULLING TEETH from a wild dog. It’s probably the fastest way to silence a room of chatty believers.

And it’s because we believe it’s our own private business. But the reality is that our faith is personal, but it’s not private. We DO have a personal relationship with Christ but NOT a private one that is meant to be kept to ourselves.

There is a verse in Proverbs that just keeps popping into my head, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Prov. 18:1 Deep, meaningful fellowship with other believers is vital for spiritual growth. I’m learning this more and more. It takes work and humility but it’s worth it for the glory of God’s kingdom.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 14, 2019 in books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Embracing Sin

I know a lot of people that wrestle with doubt. Dear friends of mine that doubt their salvation, doubt God’s love for them, doubt their beliefs. For a long time, I struggled with these friends. I struggled with how to respond to this kind of doubting. How can you be unsure of the ONLY sure thing we have? How can you doubt the Words of our eternal, sovereign Lord? If he says it, it’s true. I was not a very patient person to a hurting heart for many years but God has shown me some things since then. 🙂 I’ve learned how to better respond to doubts, even if I don’t always understand.

However, all of this has caused me to be very interested in doubting and where it comes from. So let me ask this question: How many times have you listened to a gospel presentation (or maybe given one) and glossed over the part that we are all desperately, evil sinners? I’m actually very curious in this answer. Have you heard someone present the gospel as a way to be saved but you aren’t even sure what you are being saved from?

Romans 3 talks about how every single one of us is unrighteous and no one does what is good. 1 John says that if we say we haven’t sinned, we are liars. Isaiah 64 says that we are unclean and even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags. And all you have to do is read the Ten Commandments (or maybe Jesus’ interpretation of them) to realize that we haven’t kept them at all.

So why is that part of the gospel, the part where THERE IS A DESPERATE NEED FOR A SAVIOR, skipped over so much? Because it is uncomfortable. Because people don’t want to be told that they are in the wrong and are sinful.

But don’t you see? Without that, there isn’t a need for the gospel at all. Without a deep realization of your sin, you won’t have a deep realization for what Christ did for you! You will be caught up in thinking you have to earn your salvation instead of realizing it was never based on you to begin with. Let me share from Because He Loves Me:

“Many people struggle with feelings of condemnation and guilt today because they’ve never really understood what Jesus did for them on Calvary. They think that their relationship with God is predicated on the fact that they’re not really all that bad, and then they wonder if God still loves them when they struggle with ongoing sin. They wonder if they were ever really his. They don’t see the depth of the sin that Christ bore in their place and so they can’t comprehend the righteous fury he withstood for them nor the riches of the grace they’ve been given. I’m encouraging you now to fully embrace your sinfulness for one simple reason: so that you can fully embrace this great exchange, our ‘justification.'” pg71

YES! If you never fully embraced that you were an utterly sinful person who was incapable of rescuing yourself, then you won’t ever be sure of your salvation. That doubt will remain. But once you realize that your salvation was never based on you or your performance, you can be sure it will never fade away. Christ is eternal, his love is eternal, and his work is eternal.

And that, dear friends, washes away all doubts of this world.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 24, 2019 in books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Because He Loves Me

Guys, I made a mistake. A few years ago, I was given a book. It was given as a thank-you gift to a group of volunteers that I’m blessed to be a part of. It was around Christmas time and I remember looking at it, and putting it on my bookshelf. And here’s where the mistake came in:

I DID NOT READ THAT BOOK. If you don’t know this about me, I don’t read many theology books written by women because sometimes I get tired of looking for good ones. (Some of you might identify with that and some of you might be outraged.) So when I saw that this book was written by a woman I pridefully placed it in the back of my mind and forgot about it. I should have known better. I should have known that the ladies that picked this book are some of the most biblically sound people I know. I should have read the book years ago. I didn’t though.

But God in his grace reminded me of that book a couple months back and I decided to give it a try. I have been blown away, people. There were some days I would be reading and it was all I could do to contain the love for Christ that I felt building inside me from reading this. This book is one of the most Christ-focused, convicting, and encouraging books I have ever read!

It’s Because He Loves Me by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. I actually can’t think of anything negative to say, which is rare for me. I even included the Amazon link if you click that picture because, seriously, everyone should read it!

Over the next few posts, I want to share some of my favorite parts of the book but I think my absolute favorite thing about it was how entirely gospel-focused it is. Elyse starts out with the gospel and builds on that but always brings you back to the fact that Christ’s love displayed in the gospel should be the driving motivation for every single thing we do. I needed that reminder. Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to do what’s right that I ignore my motivations. A short quote from the book, “I believe that most Christians think fondly of Jesus, are sincerely grateful for salvation, and remember his name as a tagline when they pray, but they don’t see his work and life as something to contemplate every moment of every day. I have to admit that until fairly recently I, too, pursued godliness without much thought of him.”

And that’s just from the intro! This book left me with a greater awe of our Savior and love for him! I’m so excited to share that with you all.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 20, 2019 in books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,