Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"The Shack" by William Young

WOW. OK, so I finished this one over a week ago, but still wanted to write about it. Sorry, you guys get to read another spiritual-type message. Ha.

It is really good! Read this if you really want to think about God in an unexpected way. It helps to answer the question, ‘Where is God in a world where there is so much pain and suffering?’

Main concepts I took away:
Why does God still let evil happen in the world?
God takes that evil and turns it into something that is good. We have no way of knowing much evil God stops from happening.
God is right there with us through our suffering, whether we realize it at the time or not.
We have free will to make our own choices. We don’t want God to choose everything for us and control our lives, but then when something bad happens, we want him there to fix it instantly.

Even though God knows everything that is going to happen, He still lets us make our own choices. When we make the wrong choices, He still loves us unconditionally and tries to help us learn from those wrong choices. It’s similar to how we as human-beings love our children…not that I would know, but you get the general idea. Parents love their kids no matter what mistakes they make (at least in most cases).

God isn’t big on the word religion and all the rituals we perform. He is all about the relationship we have with him and developing that relationship into something that is close. God is with us constantly.

A lot of times Christians think they need to be just like Christ. This is an unattainable standard we have set for ourselves. God is a spiritual, holy and righteous being, not of this world. We are human-beings who are far from perfect. God sent His Son to Earth to walk among us and see what it’s like to be human, but He is still perfect and not human.

We must forgive those who have caused us pain.
God loves the people who hurt us too and has already forgiven those people.
We are allowed to be angry at the people who wronged us and about the evil things that happen. The most important step in releasing that anger is forgiveness. With the help of God, we can forgive just like He has.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Homework by Dan Burton

I just wanted to share the basic synopsis of our message at The Gathering the other night. So, these isn’t necessarily my own original thoughts, but my reaction to the sermon. I really thought it was a good one!

This verse is a description of how to treat your family. IT IS NOT a description of how the people in your family are to treat you.

Colossians 3:18-21
“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

That part really struck with me. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this verse. It actually seems a little bit scary for wives to submit to their husbands and children to obey their parents. Often times, people (including myself) thought that it was OK to use these verses against one another. Parents might say, ‘Well, you aren’t honoring and obeying your mother and father.’ And go on with the guilt trip from there. Husbands can do the same thing, justifying their actions and assuming that no matter what, the wives must submit to them. This is not Christ-like. And even though I recently learned that it’s really impossible to be Christ-like (we are going to sin no matter what, we are human-beings), these verses are not meant to be used against one another.

These verses aren’t about entitlement to a certain treatment, but instructions for our own lives. As Pastor Dan said, the only thing we can control is ourselves. We can’t control our children, wives, husbands, parents. I can only control myself. I need to do a better job of how I view situations and choose NOT to focus on the problems others are causing, but focus on how I am the problem.

In my quest for love, the common verses of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 mean more. When I really take in what these verses signify and read them slowly, I start to understand the type of love that God has for us and the type of love that we should try to give toward others, especially our families.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keep no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres.”

Why is it so hard to remember this and portray this type of love in our everyday lives???

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Indecent Proposal

"Losing Diana is like losing a part of me.
I thought nothing could change the way we felt about each other.
I thought we were invincible."

"Someone once said:
'If you want something very badly, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours forever.
If it doesn't, it was never yours to begin with.

I knew one thing. I was David's and he was mine.'"

I just watched this movie for the first time last night. Really good story!!! I bet it's a good book as well.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

King of Pop

Everybody else is talking about Michael Jackson, I might as well join in with the masses! I love his music! I love that he had a pet giraffe in Neverland and wish I could have my own. I love how he sings, "OW!" in a lot of his songs. With his recent passing, I've obviously been listening to the HIStory album (I only have the first disk). It's hard for me to believe that the Bad album came out in 1987 and I remember it so vividly and listening to that and Thriller cassette tapes on vacation, I was only 8 years old. My friend and I watched the world premier of the Black or White video and played it over and over and over again - that was 1991! Our gym teacher, Mrs. Eidson almost always played Beat It in our P.E. classes. The man may have been a little strange, with the skin diseases and plastic surgeries and what not. But really, he didn't have a childhood and was always in the spotlight; that has to have some affect on a person. Listen to the song Heal the World and Man in the Mirror. I believe Michael Jackson simply loved children and the world and wanted it to be a happy place for all. He may be gone physically, but his music will live on forever. Love you Michael!!! =Þ

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Seeing both movies and traveling to Greece (Lena’s grandparents live in the village of Oia on Santorini Island) this year inspired me to start reading the Sisterhood book series. I’m currently read book number three of four. The reading obviously isn’t challenging or anything – it can be found in the teen section of your local library! There is a lot more that happens in the book than the movies, more than the typical changes from book to movie. I guess they decided to cram four books into two movies, thus creating a lot of differences. It’s nice that I’m making time for reading again, even though I’ll never get through my entire reading list. I definitely recommend these books if you are up for a light story about four girlfriends and their magical pants! Don’t worry, I have some serious books on my list after I finish with these. Oh, and the scenery from the movie really is as beautiful in real life. Happy Summer! =Þ