Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Lego Analogy

I’ve embarked on a near impossible task.  I have about 7 gallons worth of mixed up Lego toys(thousands of pieces) and I’d like to put the sets back together and keep them apart from the miscellaneous Legos.  It’s rather daunting but will be worth it in the end(I think).  I was struck by the similarity between this task and learning doctrine.  Legos don’t come in big mostly assembled parts, they come in small individual mixed up parts.  In the same way, when we learn Bible doctrine, we learn one small thing at a time and before long as we put the small pieces together we see larger and larger portions of the bigger picture.  Whole doctrines become clear one small piece at a time.  Legos also come with instruction booklets which could be like the Pastor Teacher giving you each days set of  instructions “put parts a,b, and c with the previously constructed x,y, and z”.   It’s a loose analogy but a fun one just the same. 

We shouldn’t get discouraged by the slow growth or the small thing learned each day.  That is how we are supposed to grow. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Travels

Oct vacation 010The kids and I returned last week from a 10 day trip to visit friends and family!  It was one of those crazy hair-brained ideas I get from time to time.  Sure, why not a 12 hour drive all by myself with 2 kids.  It will be fun and educational!  Well, it was but I think the educational part was more on my end than theirs.  I really felt the Lord was giving me a push to go on this trip and it turned out to be very rewarding.  I get a little starved for like-minded fellowship here in the doctrinally remote parts of Utah, so spending time with my best doctrinal girl-friends is sweet refreshment.  My friend Theresa is also out in remote parts but in her case it’s AZ.  She was like cool water on a hot day.  We had such a good time talking even with our 7 kids running amuck and a few even being pretty sick with the flu.  She gave me incredible encouragement about this season of life we are in, raising kids and being help to our husbands through thick and thin, and knowing it’s ok to put on hold dreams and talents, for now.  It was awesome to be able to march together even just for a week.  Listening to Bible class together and re-arranging the furniture which was a blast.  I also got to be a part of their local assembly in a special NAGBC Camp/Bible class in the woods that Sunday!  It was really cool.  I loved getting to see their group in action, going forward together.

I was also able to visit with my family at the same time since Theresa is my brother’s wife (what luck for me!).  It was great to see my parents and watch my kids enjoy them and visa versa.  My mom made me desserts!  She knows I love pie and we watched movies.  It was such fun!

Then we went to Tucson where our local assembly is located.  There my friend Kelli spoiled me with friendship and food.  Sunday was a great culmination to the whole trip with Bible class surrounded by my very own “local” assembly which I have missed tremendously.  It was so cool to surprise my friend Kris and get to visit with her very briefly.  Then after class my friend Karen was able to visit all afternoon and we girls all sat and talked about the Lord and what we had been learning lately.  It was wonderful… 

Oct vacation 016It’s taken me a week to recover from all the driving and visiting but it was one of those really life-changing trips.  I was challenged in many areas and I learned volumes that can’t be expressed.  It was a chance to put some doctrines to work and to do some “field work” instead of “homework”. 

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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“With All Your Strength”

While listening to a lesson on Ecclesiastes, the verse “Remember your creator in the days of your youth” has been a focus of study.  One of the principles of the study was that if you do not give your strength to God when you have youthful vigor, then when you grow old you will not have His strength (built up through Divine viewpoint word of God inside your soul) to bring you through the trials of losing your physical strength.  There is a difference between physical strength and soul strength.  If you have wasted the strength of your life on the world and then decide to give God what is left over, the reality is that you have nothing but regrets and hard lessons learned and your old age is filled with desire that cannot be filled, pain that cannot be understood and loss that cannot be coped with.  If we can really grasp this principle that Solomon is warning us about in Ecclesiastes, we can avoid this bleak future, one he himself experienced first hand. 

This same principle got me to thinking about how I spend my strength and not just on a life long scale but on a daily one.  I find that certain areas of my personal relationship with God get pushed to the very end of my day.  Not my intake of the word but the function of my prayer life when I take time out to talk to God about those I love and the difficulties I’m facing.  I tend to put that off till the last moments of my day when all my strength is gone, when I’ve given all my strength to the details of life.  I sometimes think of God’s mandate to love Him with all of my strength as a mandate to give him every last drop but I’m coming to think of it in a new way too.  If I want to love God with all of my strength then I want to use the greatest part of my life energy to be with Him, that time of day when I have the most energy.  If I take that time to speak to Him of stresses and sorrows, if I do that before I’m completely exhausted, I may have strength from Him while the day is still young to deal with the stresses and sorrows of life before I’m completely exhausted. 

It’s not a law to abide by or anything like that, just wisdom and a consideration to make before I rush off to conquer the details of life and only talk to God when I have no energy left.

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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“With All Your Heart”

The greatest advice given to us from God is this, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength”  This guarantees a fantastic life where all that God has desired for you and planned for you, He is able to bring to you.  We use words like election and predestination to make it easy to reference in short this very cool promise.   The more you get to know the God of the Bible the more you want to love Him.  It’s impossible not to be amazed at His plan and who He is.  You will never find another “god” who wants to give you everything and doesn’t want you to do anything but believe it and receive it.  Another “god” who created your soul purposefully and put it inside your body and loved you since before the world was even made.  Who was willing to be hurt and suffer more than you ever will, to solve the greatest problem you have, which is the inability to be with Him.  All because He wanted to be with you personally.  You’ll never find another belief system where it is all receiving on your end and all giving on God’s. 

That kind of grace does something to you.  It creates a sort of gratitude hunger.  You love God because He loves you and has given you so much.  You want to reciprocate with a furvent zeal.   Most people hit that moment and God never really sees them again.  They are off in the world trying SO hard to make God happy, all the while growing more and more miserable, bitter or just plain crazy.  They think that now it’s their turn to start doing things for God almost to try and pay Him back in a way, that it’s what a Christian should do, work, work, work, get busy for God go to church and “get active”.  They forget that this whole thing was about receiving what God has planned to give them since before the world was even made.  The way to give back to God is simply to continue to receive everything He is waiting to give you. Go to the place where you can learn His word daily, which reveals who He is and what His plan is all about.   The more you find out what He has for you the more you know how to receive it.   When He gives and our lives take on meaning and depth, He gets the glory because it comes from Him.  When we are busy working, we get the glory and things get screwed up.  It’s why you’ll find some scary bitter old Christians. 

When I talk about “all that God has planned to give you”, I’m not talking about new cars and big screen TV’s, although sometimes we get things like that too.  I’m talking about knowing why you are on this earth and finding out the thing that you absolutely love doing and can’t seem to stop only to discover that it’s what some people might call a “work” only for you is a passion almost like you have a supernatural gift in that area.  I’m talking about sufferings that start out as a sorrow and end in happiness to the point where  you would never have missed that experience for the world because it gave you insight into who God is and you gained depth(it doesn’t leave you wounded).  I’m talking about overcoming death and fear and insecurity.  It’s being a happy young or old person who on their dying bed is confident because God’s word was proved to be truth and God was so personal with them that they can recount the thousands of times He revealed Himself to them through things no one else could have known.  It’s knowing that “all God has planned” doesn’t end here, there is much much more after this life.  We will not be bored in the eternal state.  We will have incredible indestructible bodies and God will always have plans. 

This post took on a life of its own but I’m glad it did.  I have that outpouring of gratitude tonight, that inexpressible joy and it’s found its way into this post.  

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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Riches

I had a nice relaxing weekend.  I spent most of my time cataloging my recipes.  I realized the other day that most of the recipes I use are scattered among various books and magazine articles on my shelf.  If anything were to happen to even one of them I would be lost.  Sadly, no matter how many times I make something I still need the recipe.  This way I can have all my best recipes in one place and even make a digital copy to store elsewhere and share with new brides, etc. 

Bible class on Sunday touched on the topic of freedom in Christ.   As a part of that freedom, we are free from being concerned with our sins and sin nature.  Free to focus on knowing God and living the spiritual life.  Free from trying to please God.  Free to live in all He has given(which is an enormous amount).  We can relax when life permits and not worry about trying to achieve at every moment.  Everything I could ever hope to achieve pales in comparison with what I have already been given. 

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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My Spiritual I.Q. Keeper

During Bible class recently I was seeing one aspect of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in a new way.  The Bible says that God the Holy Spirit is our helper, mentor and teacher.  When we sit down to listen to the Word of God  and we have God the Holy Spirit in control of our soul,  He takes what we hear and makes it a part of our understanding so that it is usable, it becomes the wisdom of God and not just knowledge gained by human effort.  The word of God heard apart from God(or fellowship with God) is misunderstood and useless.  We have been taught that what I’m describing is known as spiritual I.Q. and every believer from the stupid to the highly intelligent have unlimited spiritual I.Q.  There is nothing that we cannot learn spiritually(about God and all of His plan and wisdom) under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

The thing that really popped out at me was that the reason for unlimited spiritual I.Q.  could be that God the Holy Spirit is the spiritual I.Q. keeper.  I saw it as us being able to plug into Him and He acts on our behalf as a second spiritual super brain that expands us beyond our normal ability to perceive.  Essentially He is the I.Q.  He stores and files in our minds what we are willing to learn and believe that is true.  He reveals to us The Lord Jesus Christ who is the Word made flesh John 1:14.  This is all just partial speculation but cool to think about anyway.  It is grace no matter how you add it up that we have been given God to know and the opportunity to have His thinking inside us. 

Like I said, this is  just something fun to think about not an actual doctrine.  

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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