Giveaway!

Giveaway

You may recall about a year ago I had the opportunity to review some glasses. I had never ordered anything like that online and it was a really fun experience! You can upload your picture to the site and virtually try on the glasses! I ended up with a pair I probably would never have picked out on my own, but that I really like.

Today I am teaming up with that company, Firmoo, again and giving away a free pair of glasses of your choice! You can choose any of the glasses from this collection: http://www.firmoo.com/collection-for-bloggers.html

Please note you must actually “like” the Facebook pages to be entered. Giveaway ends on Thursday. Good luck!

 

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God is Not Fair

God is not fair

God is not fair. He is good.

… and I am so thankful that is the case.

I am so thankful that God is not fair because if He did what was fair we would all have been dead a long time ago. He would have… should have struck us down for the sins that we have committed. Sin deserves punishment and the punishment for sin according to Scripture is death. If God was fair, He would have given us the punishment that we deserve. Death.

And I am thankful that God is not fair in the way that we think fair should be. Because if He did what was fair in our eyes all gifts, blessings, and abilities would be evenly distributed. But what lessons would we have to learn then? If everything was even, we would have no need to learn contentment, no necessity to trust in God, and no push toward humble dependence. We wouldn’t see the blackness of our own selfish sin and the generosity of His goodness.

He is good. Not only does He not give us the punishment that we deserve, but He graciously gives us what we need. God does not give us what we want (necessarily) or what is “fair,” but what we need to grow to be more like Him and to bring glory to Him.

When you are in a trial and you think, “this isn’t fair,” you are right. It probably isn’t fair. But God has designed that unique set of circumstances as an opportunity for you to see His goodness. You have the privilege of seeing Him work in your life and how He will use that situation to bring glory to His name. If you got what was fair, you either wouldn’t live to see those lessons or would have no need to learn those lessons.

Let us continually remind ourselves, like the psalmist does in Psalm 119:68, that the Lord is good and does good.

If you need a more theological explanation of this concept, I highly recommend this article from someone much more intelligent and wiser than me. 


Setting Aside Our Expectations & Being Faithful

Ezekiel

As I decided what to study in Scripture next, I thought to myself, “Well, I haven’t spent much time in the major/minor prophets.” So I opened my Bible to Ezekiel and began reading this book about God’s holiness and sovereignty.

This morning in Ezekiel chapter 2 verses 5-7 boldly marched across the page:

Thus says the Lord God, ‘As for them,  whether they listen or not – for they are a rebellious house – they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words  nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house. But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.’

The Lord called Ezekiel to faithfully carry out his calling no matter how the people he was ministering to responded.

This was a compelling reminder to me this morning to be faithful. The Lord calls us to be faithful always.

Faithful to love our children even when they are rebellious.

Faithful to lead our small groups even when they seem unresponsive.

Faithful to honor our husbands even when they do not deserve it. 

Faithful to reach out to friends even if no one reaches out to us. 

Faithful to fulfill our job responsibilities even if we are mistreated.

Faithful to complete our school work even when everyone else cuts corners.

Faithful to forgive even when the other party doesn’t. 

Faithful to be kind even when kindness is not returned.

Faithful to preach the Gospel even if it falls on deaf ears. 

The Lord is faithful to us even though we do not deserve it. How much more should we be faithful even when those around us are unresponsive or do not deserve it?

Acts 20:24 may be my favorite verse in the Bible. Maybe. It is hard to pick a favorite isn’t it? The verse says:

But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

Today let us set aside our expectations of others and focus on faithfully carrying out the ministry that the Lord has given us.


Actions Speak Louder than Facebook Posts

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Planned Parenthood is getting the brunt of Christian Facebook posts this week. Last week it was the Supreme Court’s decision and next week it will be something else.

I am amazed by the amount of posting that Christians have done on these “hot topics” recently. It has caused me to think carefully about what I post.

I think that sometimes Christians hide behind the boldness of other people’s words. It is easier to hit “share” on Facebook than to share a face-to-face conversation with someone.

Would we be willing to sit down with someone and have a conversation about one of these controversial topics?

I have no doubt that the Lord works in amazing ways – I am sure that He uses blog posts and social media to work on people’s hearts. But I am afraid that sometimes by posting, we create more of a barrier to the Gospel than a catalyst for it.

I will never forget when one of our neighbors in the apartment complex that we managed said to us, “You guys seem happy.” I was floored by this simple summary. This was a man that we had barely talked to, barely had even interacted with. Yet he had been watching us and our character from a distance and that is the conclusion that he had come to.

I believe that our actions speak louder than our Facebook posts ever will. The world is watching our character and the decisions that we make.

I pray that we would be more in a hurry to invite someone out for coffee to talk about current issues than we are to post about it. I pray that we would be ambassadors for Christ in the way that we live out our lives, whether that is on social media or in social circles.

Next time you go to post about something controversial, think through these six THINGS.


Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger

Let the sun go down on your anger

Over the past two and a half years of marriage, I have felt a bit puzzled by the phrase, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” People love to give newlyweds this advice. They tell stories of how they stayed up all night working through conflict.

To me this advice had seemed a bit counter-intuitive. My husband actually will sometimes make us wait to work through something until we are both a bit more rested and thinking clearly. (Ok, maybe we  just wait until I am thinking more clearly! 😉 )We have avoided a lot of unnecessary conflict by waiting to talk through it.

But I worried that we were doing something unbiblical. Should we be staying up and trudging through those hard conversations?

However, I recently read through the book Uprooting Anger by Robert D. Jones and it gave me new insight into what Ephesians 4:26 is talking about. The author pointed out that this is an idiom. It is not a principle saying that we have to stay up all night until we stop fighting, but rather it is a catchy phrase to help us to remember not to let our anger turn to bitterness.

Upon further study of this passage, I realized that this passage is actually not even talking about normal anger. It is talking about righteous anger. Dr. MacArthur points out that even the good kind of anger (anger against that which offends our Lord) can easily turn to bitterness. We must not dwell on this anger and let it turn into something sinful.

As a couple, you need to learn how to deal with conflict. Sometimes this means waiting until you are calm to work through something. For other couples, it might mean that you need to deal with the issue immediately. Either way, we must not let it turn into bitterness. My husband and I sometimes have to let the sun go down on our anger and get a good night’s sleep before we deal with conflict. It leads to much happier results and a more fruitful discussion.

How do you and your spouse (roommate, sibling, friend, etc.) work through conflict?