Thinking...about not much of anything

Random things I am thinking about...

1. I wish I didn't let my mood swing on a pendulum. I hate it when I am having a good day and then it all changes because one thing happened that, in the grand scheme of life, doesn't matter.

2. I am loving the new Passion CD. I'm stuck on the fountain song and Spirit Fall. All My Fountains sounds like a fun song to play, if only I knew how to play guitar.

3. I'm loving my new iPad, and am realizing that it's a good thing I don't have the 3G version because I would be a useless human being.

4. Right now I'm realizing how loud my dishwasher is. Ridiculous.

5. The whole business with Rob Bell's new book got me thinking. I find it interesting that Jesus taught "over the heads" of the intellectuals of His day by teaching on the level of the average uneducated man. The simplicity of the gospel is sometimes too complicated for people...they want to over think, or overexplain it, and that just isn't necessary (sometimes I'm the one over thinking it). My opinion.

6. I haven't been feeling well again lately (my stomach). I'm trying leaving milk out of my diet for a while to see if that helps, but I really hope I'm not allergic to it. So far it isn't helping so we'll see.

7. I've decided that The Cock of the Walk has the best fried catfish in town. We tried another restaurant yesterday because COTW is closed
for lunch, and I didn't like it. When I eat catfish at COTW I can't even tell I'm eating fish, and that's a good thing.

8. I wish this thing (my iPad) had an arrow button to move down the page because it's way hard to scroll down to the bottom inside this little box I'm typing in on blogger. I can't figure out how to scroll inside of it.

9. I would really love a road trip right now...not sure where to, but I don't think that part matters. I've just got itchy feet.

10. I love these two new cookbooks I found...Not Your Mothers Slow Cooker cookbook and Not Your Mothers Casseroles. They have tons of recipes that don't include cans of cream of whatever soup and a lot of the other processed ingredients you usually find in recipes. There are some unique recipes in there, too, which I like.

11. The most ingenious thing to me is the recipe for oven pancakes. You just make the batter, pour it in a jelly roll pan and cook it for 15 minutes...no being stuck at the griddle flipping cakes. I can pop that in the oven and focus on scrambled eggs and bacon or whatever else I am making, and everything can be done at the same time. I always manage to burn the eggs when I try to cook them while I'm flipping pancakes.

12. Does anybody care what random things I am thinking about ;)

13. I can't think anymore, it's time to veg.

14. Had to come back and add one more. I know tonight is a supermoon and it's the closest it will ever get, and all that, but...I can't tell any difference whatsoever. Maybe I should have been out there when it first "rose." Obviousy I have missed something.

15. I'm wondering if I stole the title to this post from someone, sub-consciously. I was sitting in church and all of a sudden I thought, I think I've heard that title somewhere before. If I did don't be mad at me...I've checked the usual blogs I read, but haven't found the person I may or may not have plagiarized. Oh well.


Bedtime Routines

So, people with kids - I want to know what your bedtime routines are. I always hear beautiful stories about reading together and singing and bath and prayers, and kids in bed early. What I want to know, in all seriousness, is what does it look like logistically? Like, how do you cook dinner, clean up the kitchen and do all that bonding stuff and get the kids to bed at a decent time? Give me the schedule...please ;) For real.
I'm not kidding...if you have a good routine I want to hear about it and how you pull it off.


If We've Ever Needed You...

Hear our cry, Lord, we pray
Our faces down, our hands are raised
You called us out, we turned away
We've turned away

With shipwrecked faith the idols rise
We do what is right in our own eyes
Our children now will pay the price
We need Your light, Lord, shine Your light

If we've ever needed You
Lord, it's now, Lord, it's now
We are desperate for Your hand
We're reaching out, we're reaching out

These are some of the lyrics to Casting Crown's, "If We've Ever Needed You" (I hope they are accurate, I cut and pasted from the web). I think the chorus points out what the root problem is, and I am in no way knocking the song, but we have a faulty way of thinking. Well, I should probably say a faulty way of living, because we "know" the right answers.

One of our biggest problems, as I see it, is that we are not aware of our constant need of God. It's only when we have trouble that we turn and say, "I need you." The truth is that we are never more, or less, in need of God. We might have times that we are more, or less, aware of it, but the need is always there.

I believe that where we get in trouble is that when things are good, we drift along thinking we're doing a pretty good job managing our lives, not acknowledging the One who gives us the breath of life each day. Who knows how much He intervenes on our behalf (behalves? ;) daily? The hardest thing to do, to me, is to stay connected when life is good...no one has trouble staying near to God when life is hard. What I mean is, we seek Him more readily, even if we don't necessarily have an awareness of His nearness to us. We do our part.

That's why God said in Deuteronomy (to the people about to enter the Promised Land):

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery...You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

There are other passages of scripture, too, that make it clear that destruction follows when we forget God...and that tends only to happen when life is good. I like it when life is good. I like my Life is Good stickers. And my coffee cups. But God help me to stay grounded, focused and close when things are great so that I don't have to work so hard when things get difficult. There's a lot less ground to cover when you've never left the throne room.


First Boo-boo

Christopher got his first big boo-boo yesterday. He did a faceplant in the driveway, and apparently only cried for about 30 seconds. I think I handled it pretty well. I had gone to pick Riley up from school and when I pulled into the driveway I saw Dave holding Christopher with blood trickling from his nose. It was a bit shocking at first, but I didn't flip out...probably because I wasn't here to see it happen and, therefore, replay it over and over in my mind.

It doesn't seem to bother him at all - not even when I cleaned it and put medicine on it.

Looks like an ad for Band-Aid...totally unplanned. He was digging in a drawer when I took the picture and happened to pull out this box.

I think this next one is completely appropriate for someone who has faceplanted...he looks angry. But he's not, really. This is him preparing for the retina searing flash that he knows his coming.

He's a big boy...guess I had better get used to this.


And Such Were Some of You

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

This passage is set in the context of believers bringing lawsuits against other believers. There were two main issues Paul brought up:

1. They were trying to settle disputes outside the church in front of 'secular' courts of law, and
2. That there were lawsuits in the first place was an indication of a problem.

I can't claim to know exactly what Paul was thinking, but I can tell you what struck me about the part I highlighted in bold, "And that is what some of you were." He told them that it would be better to allow themselves to be wronged than bring a lawsuit...also that some of them were actually the wrongdoers.

I can picture this letter being read aloud to the church at Corinth. Surely there would have been some in the crowd that when it was read that the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, etc., wouldn't inherit the kingdom, that would have said "yeah, uh-huh, preach it pastor, that's right," until he then read, "and such were some of you." "Oh." What more could be said? "Oh. Yeah. That's right. I forgot." Silence.

I know, I know, He removes our sin and casts it as far as the east is from the west. But that doesn't mean we are to forget...we aren't to hold on to shame or guilt, but if we forget what we once were, then we will become short on grace for other people. It is much easier for me to forgive, and look past outward failures or habits, when I remember what I once was. I don't have to think about it very long, and I manage to find some grace for the other person.

This is like fresh news to me today. Mind you, it isn't easy, but we are called to be slow to anger, patient and kind, remembering that it is the kindness of the Lord that leads to repentance. Oh yeah. That's right. I forgot.