I Am Back to Blogging

I am going to begin blogging again. I was recently struck by the connection I still feel with a lot of blog posts written in an on a former blog, and I realized that I am missing out on recording my thoughts in an more formal and orderly way than just writing in my journal. So, here I am at the beginning of September and saying “Hi!”

I will be posting my September goals on Tuesday, September 4th. I plan on using this holiday weekend as an excuse to take a little more time before I post. What I want to mention in this post is two of the biggest influences on my life right now.

The first one is something of a housework/house cleaning system. FLYlady is the name, and “FLYing” is the game. F stands for “Finally”, L stands for “Loving” and Y stands for “Yourself”. The thinking behind the FLYLady system is simply to create a peaceful existence for yourself and for your family. The emphasis is on doing what you can and then knowing that it counts, versus focusing on perfection and then procrastinating. If I follow the steps, then I am better prepared for everyday life and life’s many interruptions. I am really enjoying implementing this system. I am subscribed to the emails, but I have not had a chance to read the book, Sink Reflections. I plan on reading that this month. In fact, I have requested it from the library, but I haven’t been able to bring it home yet.

The second influence right now is Crystal at Money Saving Mom. I have been following her blog for a few months now, and because of the season of life I am in right now, her blog is keeping me inspired to live a frugal lifestyle. I also listened to her audiobook The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year a few months ago and was inspired to really focus on my lifestyle and grocery spending.

I highly recommend both resources! I know that I have benefited greatly from being exposed to them on a daily basis.

Goals for May

My goals for May are as follows:

1. Bible Reading–continue to follow the plan for shirkers and slackers.

In regards to my spiritual life, I want to make morning devotions a priority. Lately, I’ve just been reading/praying/journalling at the end of the day, however, I want to learn to seek God first. So, morning devotions is a goal this month.

2. Exercise/Health–I will continue walking for a half an hour 3x a week. I need to get more focused on adding in fruits and vegetables into my diet however. One way that I will do this is to prepare fruits and vegetables to have on hand for snacking.

3. Spanish–I never got a Spanish resource from my local library, but I have a few resources on hold to be picked up this week. In addition, I will be attempting to listen to some Spanish Christian radio.

4. Book reading–I did not finish Career Renegade in April, so I will go ahead and finish it this month. In addition, I am reading a book about blogging. If I finish those and have time, I would like to read Purpose in Prayer by E.M. Bounds.

5. Writing and blogging–I want to blog 3x per week or approximately fourteen times during the month of May.

6. Relationships–this is a hard one, but I am going to put time and effort into spending time with two different girls my age who are also mothers.

7. Love Letters– I need to sit down and write two this month!

I also have two other goals for this month that are not related to my resolutions. I want to earn $15 in Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks. I also want to complete two knitting projects that force me to learn a new skill or stitch.

Hopefully, I will be able to report some progress at the end of the month!

 

Other’s Thoughts on Goals

I read two different blog posts talking about goals today. I wanted to share them and record my thoughts on each.

The first one was “The Wrong Bullseye” by Laura Parker and posted on the (in)courage blog. Laura spoke about the difference between our goals and desires versus the holy desires and goals that God has for us. She spoke about how we may want to get out of a store very quickly, but a goal of being more Christ-like should be our focus. This goal of being more Christ-like, and I would add Spirit-filled, is a willingness to be patient when the cashier moves at a snails pace or when the customer can’t find the change. For me, this post was a reminder to take a deep breath when my goals get interrupted. I need to remember that the most important part of my life is becoming more like my Savior.

The second blog post I read was a more personal evaluation of goals on the Money Saving Mom blog (written by Crystal Paine). I was rather awestruck by her list of goals that she was accomplishing this year! Quite honestly, I was even a little envious that she was successfully meeting the vast majority of her goals. But in a rare moment of reasonableness, I realized that she is years ahead of where I am in my life. I realized that the fact that I am attempting to continue to follow through on my goals is enough! I may not be on target with my goals, but I have not given up on them yet! I also realized that I am practicing intentionality, goal-setting, perseverance, and a host of other traits that will help me to achieve goals in the future. If I let Crystal’s post discourage me, then I will never get where she is right now. I’ll never be that successful! But, if I can look at her post and be inspired to keep on keeping on, I will be successful someday! So today, I choose to be inspired!

Alcohol and drunkenness

This Wednesday night service at church, our pastor spoke on what the Bible says about alcohol and getting drunk with alcohol. Personally, in some ways the message did not apply as I grew up away from the temptations of alcohol and even in my adult life, alcohol has never really tempted me. I have seen what alcohol, most specifically getting drunk with alcohol, can do to a person and to others around them and I just do not want to deal with the consequences. However, in the midst of listening to the message, I had a few thoughts.

One of the most striking verses in the Bible relating to drunkenness is Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be ye filled with the Spirit;”. This verse strikes me powerfully because it contrasts being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit as if they are opposites. So, as I half-listened to the message, I began to think about the consequences if being drunk with wine (alcohol) was the opposite of being filled with the Spirit.

I realized that being drunk with alcohol removes inhibitions and reveals your true sin nature. Alcohol removes all the “rules” one has learned about behaving around other people and allows one to say what they want, take what they want and do what they want. The human sin nature is ugly and repulsive to God; it is the opposite of His character. We were created for fellowship with God, and any sin in our lives breaks fellowship with God. When we take action that causes us to sin without any restraint we are keeping ourselves from God and from who we were created to be. God’s plan is to refine, purify and sanctify us so that we can become more like Him.

Being “drunk” with the Holy Spirit also can remove inhibitions. It just removes different inhibitions. When we are drunk with the Spirit we can be released from our flesh and sin nature. Think about how fear often rules our life when we think about expressing and living our faith. Being filled with the Spirit should release us from the power of that fear and give us full and total confidence in our God. God’s goal and plan for each of our lives is to make us more like Himself and He does that through His Holy Spirit.

I remember my first encounter with someone who had been drinking and become drunk. I was four years old on a train with my mom and sister headed to a different state to visit family. I was coloring with the girl in the seat beside me, and this guy approached us and wanted to help us color. It was a little weird because he was quite persistent. Had that been the only encounter, I do not know that I would have remembered it. But hours later, this man caused a ruckus and was confronted by a woman who worked on the train. He threatened her. I was only a few rows away from where this was all going on. I remember being very scared of what was going on. Nothing major came of the situation; I think he eventually calmed down. But to this day, drunk people make me very nervous because that encounter is so etched in my mind. Last night, I realized something, whether you are drunk with alcohol, or you are “drunk” with the Spirit of God, anyone who encounters you will not forget that encounter. If you are filled with the Spirit, you might be witnessing to someone and despite the working of the Holy Spirit, they reject Christ at that time, but I guarantee you, they will not forget your attempt. You may be the first person that they have met who has actually been “different” because of  their faith; maybe you are just one of many, but no matter what a person filled with the Spirit of God is unforgettable.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance; those fruits are what come out of us when we are filled with the Spirit. What are the fruits of being drunk with alcohol? Lust, anger, loudness, gluttony, impaired judgement, stealing, violence and even sometimes death. What kind of fruit do you want to have coming out in your life?

New Years Day Sunday Service Notes

I would like to chronicle the “ideas” that I am exposed to throughout my life. Also, I have been wanting to make a place to record the notes I take at church. I usually just end up throwing the notes away after a few months and it feels like such a waste! So, I will be posting notes and or outlines that I have taken during church services.

January 1, 2012

2 Corinthians 5:17If we are in Christ, we are a new creature. Old habits and our old nature should be passed away.

1 Samuel 12:14-16If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.

In 2012 we as Christians should strive to fear the LORD, and serve Him and obey Him.

Verse 16 says: “Now therefore stand…”

Definition of stand: to set, to be firm, to be steadfast

  1. Galatians 5:1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
  2. 1 Corinthians 16:13Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
  3. Ephesians 6:11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
All Scripture quoted or referenced is from the King James Version.