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What Stirs Your Affections?

Earlier this year my Young Adult group went through Matt Chandler’s video study on Philippians, “To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain.” I have to say, I was SUPER excited to do it because I had already read the book and loved it and was ready to share that with my closest friends. Pluusss…I just love Matt Chandler…

There was a thought in the series that really struck me. Chandler is asking you to look at your life and think about what stirs your affections for Christ and causes you to passionately pursue Him. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it before. From the book:

“What is it that stirs you to know Him, to love Him, to worship Him? It will probably look different for a lot of people. It will have to involve the Scriptures, because that’s how God speaks to us. It will involve prayer, because that’s how we speak to God. It involves worship, but we have to remember that worship is bigger and more expansive than singing songs in church. What is it that incorporates the Word and prayer and ultimately builds your heart in worship?” pg.98

He goes through several things that build his love for Christ and let me just say, I’m pretty sure he and I are kindred spirits. Most of the stuff on his list is on mine too. But I wanted to share with you a couple things that stir up my affections for Christ. I want to be clear that these aren’t just things I like in the way that I love cozy blankets but they are things that actually cause me to love and worship Christ more than I already do.

The first would definitely be early mornings. There is just something about waking up early and watching the sun come up as you do your devotions. There is a quiet beauty during that time that makes my heart whisper thankful prayers to the Lord.

Secondly, listening to others who are passionate about their faith. Being in the presence (or, ummm, screen) of someone who SO obviously loves Christ and is excited to share about Him and what he has done encourages me to love Him and serve Him better!

Thirdly, SNOW. I’m already prepared for some negative feedback on this one. I don’t know what it is about snow but it makes me giddy. I literally start giggling like a little girl and laugh (out loud) with joy when it snows. That God would create something so unique, soft, and beautiful is just amazing to me and I love it! It adds a beauty and quietness to winter.

The last one is probably weird. Music. Worship music, yes! Singing praise songs by myself or, even better, with my brothers and sisters in Christ is a beautiful thing! But it doesn’t even have to be that. Have you ever listened to movie scores before? Like from awesome, epic movies? There is something so moving and incredible about them that causes me to worship God. I thought at first it was because I was relating it to what I knew was happening at that point in the movie but I’ve listened to scores from movies I’ve never seen and it can still happen. Classical music can have the same effect. The pure beauty of music itself screams out glory for the Creator!

The book also addresses things that can steal your affections for Christ but I want to talk about that in my next post (whenever that comes.)

What about you? What are some things that make you love and rejoice more in our Savior? What stirs your affections for Him?

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2018 in books

 

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Devotion Lessons at 1AM

This post is going to take some backstory explaining.  Please bear with me.

I live in an apartment at the farm.  It is right above the office (very convenient) and it is behind a big room that is used for barn dances and is rented out to groups as a meeting room (not so convenient).  Usually it’s not a problem…sometimes there are noisy groups in there but they usually leave before I am ready to sleep.

Two days ago, in my morning devotions I read this verse that hit me hard. (Yes, this connects…wait for it.)

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,  to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Titus 3:1-2

Hmmm….really convicting verse, huh?  I pondered it for a while.  Submissive, okay….be obedient, got it…..ready for every good work….hmmm.   I thought about that one for a while.  But the part that hit me is the very last section:  ‘to show perfect courtesy toward all people.’  WHAT does that mean?  What is perfect courtesy anyway?  I’ve heard a lot about ‘common’ courtesy but what does perfect courtesy look like?

I then proceeded to show that verse to the other office ladies and we thought about it together.  We put it up around the office.  But I was still undecided….what is perfect courtesy?  So I did what I do every time I need to clarify the meaning of something. I looked courtesy up in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

COURTESY, n.

1. Elegance or politeness of manners; especially, politeness connected with kindness; civility; complaisance; as, the gentleman shows great courtesy to strangers; he treats his friends with great courtesy.

 

2. An act of civility or respect; an act of kindness or favor performed with politeness.

 

Wow.  I have to do THAT perfectly?  I would say that common courtesy does not have to have kindness associated with it.  I mean, you can be courteous without being kind sometimes.

Now, you may be wondering what all this has to do with my apartment being by the meeting room.  I’ll tell you.

 

Yesterday, a church group came in that has that room rented.  They are all from Kenya and have never been here before. My first premonitions came when I used the restroom in the middle of the day and I could hear them very clearly from there.  My second concern came when I found out they have that room rented for three days.

After work yesterday, I went up to my room and I have to pass through that meeting room to get there.  They were up there whooping and hollering, moaning and walking around in big circles in the room.  And they all stared at me as I passed through….kind of awkward moment.  I then proceeded to go back downstairs and ask one of my bosses if I could borrow his back stairway key for a couple days. After I explained, he quickly handed it over.

That group was in that room last night until 1AM.  Singing, moaning, hollering.  I lay in my bed thinking all sorts of awful thoughts about them.  And then, (of course it had to happen) I remembered the verse that I’ve been thinking about for a couple days now.  And it wasn’t the perfect courtesy part that hit me this time…it was the ‘toward all people’ part. I am called, I am commanded by my Lord and Savior to show love and courtesy toward every one I meet. Including the hard people on the phone, the stiff workers at Walmart, and the incompetent phone service technicians.  Including that church from Kenya.

Now, you may ask why I am writing this post at 7AM in the morning after such a rough night.  Well, I decided not to go to the YMCA this morning to work out because I wanted to get some more sleep. Your next question may be, AGAIN why are you writing this?

That church group is back in…7AM this morning and all I hear is music and singing that I don’t understand.

Lord, please help me today to show your love and perfect courtesy toward these people.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in witness

 

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5 Things Posts

Over the next few days, or so, I’m going to be doing a series of posts that I’m calling 5 Things. Each post will list 5 things that I love about one of my family members.  It’s so easy to focus on the negative things that we see in those we live with and to never realize the things we really love about them.  I think it’s important to remember that we are all sinners and to only look at another’s sins is arrogance.  We all need Christ’s saving grace.

Hopefully, the first one will be up tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2013 in Five Things

 

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Valentine’s Day

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We don’t really do valentines.  I kind of think that it’s really a holiday for married folk 🙂  Our homeschool group does an exchange and we always just write, “Thanks for being my friend” on our valentines. None of that silly, “Be mine” or “You’re my sweetheart” you find on some valentines.

With all that being said, Valentine’s Day is a BIG deal around here. Every year, we do a surprise Valentine’s Day Dinner for our parents. It’s not usually on Valentine’s Day because of the time we need for it, so it’s on the Saturday closest. This year it’s Feb. 16.

We plan this all year long and every year has a different, surprise theme. We’ve done Fancy Restaurant,  Chinese, Hawaiian, American Retro Diner, French.  This is our sixth year doing this!

Some Highlights of the past:

Fancy: Our first year!  Banana splits for dessert! Now that I think of it- that’s really not fancy at all.

Chinese: We made paper lanterns out of construction paper and hung big Christmas lights on the ceiling and put the lanterns over them. Awesome.

Hawaiian:  We all wore floral and I found a free, online Hawaiian radio station to play music for it.  We also got a coconut for decoration but when we opened it- it smelled AWFUL!

Retro Diner: We painted a box to look like a juke box and created a CD of oldies love songs. They got to pick songs to play from a list.

French: We made ratatouille from the movie and it was delicious and beautiful!

This year: Still a secret! We’ve had the theme picked out since summer and it is our most involved one yet.  I can’t say any more because my intelligent mother might deduce what we’re doing.

That Saturday, Mom and Dad already know they usually have to leave mid-morning and we tell them what time they are allowed to come home. It’s usually about 5PM, although the Diner year we did do it for lunch. This year will be the usual- dinner.

We really try to include everyone in the preparation. Bethany knows it’s always been her job to greet them at the door and help take their coats. David has a job to do but he usually ends up sitting with Mom and Dad to get food off of them!  Rebecca has a big job this year and we all help with food.

It’s a lot of work but we all love it and can’t wait!

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in holiday

 

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