Sunday, September 20, 2009

Many thoughts again

This past week I got to volunteer for KCBI's Share 2009. It is a fundraiser event that takes donations and faith promises from listeners. The station is listener supported and has no commercials or advertising. Businesses do support the station by underwriting. I could go in to the boring details of how a station works but it would put me to sleep trying to describe it. However I had an awesome time in the company of the staff and fellow volunteers. I got to sit and talk with Rob Rion, Bongo Rod, Bernie, Dennis..I could go on and on. It was an amazing time of fellowship with other believers and I supported a ministry I believed in. As long as I am in the DFW area I plan to work every year at this event. What a way to have fun and do something meaningful at the same time.

I am trying to lose weight. It is a struggle to do so but I know I can do it if I try. I had taken to walking every day but when Share came around I fell off the wagon. At Share 2009 food is provided around the clock. So I ended up eating a LOT. This week I will get disciplined again. I don't blame anyone but myself for my self control issues but that's okay. :) I am also trying to replace soda with water and control my portions. Of course when food is provided almost every second that can be a challenge. One of the reasons why I want to lose weight is because I am not healthy. I am 70 pounds overweight. I believe that getting rid of this excess could help my back problems and joints. I also want to keep myself from becoming diabetic. It runs in the family and the effects of it are not pretty if left untreated.

I got to meet 2 of my "celebrities" that were mentioned in an earlier post. On August 28 I met Dr. Richard Land at SWBTS chapel. On September 10th I met Dr. Al Mohler. Keep in mind when I say meet its a 3 minute ordeal. You shake their hand, tell them how much you admire them, have them sign your book, maybe take a picture if you are lucky and its over. I wish I could have sat down to lunch with them because these men are 2 that I admire greatly. However they are busy spreading the gospel through the work they do.

Ricky and I are still struggling with finances. I have bills that need to be caught up on. I took a small step and made a payment plan for a phone bill that Meri ran up. I got her a phone through my job and needless to say I did not get much money from it. I take partial responsibility for this bill because I did not put restrictions. So I feel like I am making a small step toward getting out of debt. Ricky is in school now. I am glad because it motivates him and he is not finding ways to be negative or talk himself out of doing something worthwhile. Because he is in school I am figuring out ways to trim the budget and keep the household afloat until Ricky finds work or a source of income. We are looking for a cheaper place to live. The rent here is outrageous. I know of apartments that charge less for more space in a safe area.

At Share 2009 I met some nice people. However there is this one woman I met that I feel envious of. Her name is Christina and she is married to the general manager (Mike) for the station. She is an attractive woman with a great figure and blond hair. She and Mike have 2 kids. They are the ideal American family with the boy and a girl in a nice house with a dog. I have not felt envious in quite some time so why is it rearing up now? I guess its because she seems to have it put together. She is a stay at home mom with a happy marriage. We talked for some time. I have to shamefully admit I almost written her off as a shallow, uppity woman from her appearance. But that is certainly not Christ like and I am being just as shallow by judging on outside covers. I got past that and started feeling insecure as we talked because she spoke with such joy about her life. Judgemental me started thinking "it must be nice to have it all". The sad thing is that I don't know much about her life with Mike other than what I saw at Share. I have no idea of the struggles the family may go through. I was literally focused on all the things I saw. I am envious of the house, the family, the financial security, and circumstances. I started longing to look like her. I wanted to somehow find Ricky and I a house so I could somewhat secretly compete with her and say "I can have that too." I still am struggling with money issues by spending money I do not have show people that I can afford things too. These are weaknesses that have been brought to light. I am now repenting for being envious and judgemental. My life is not perfect but it is blessed. I have to be grateful for what I have. Its hard sometimes because when I see people who seem to have it more together than I do the green monster rears its head.

I am still praying for a way to get out of working on Sunday. Week after week I miss being in a house of believers. Listening to the services on the radio really do more harm than good because I just start resenting the fact I am not there in church. I am missing out on music ministry and being an active part of the church. I know the Lord knows my heart and He understands. The only comfort I can draw is that the Lord sees my efforts. However so many events in the church are coming up and I have to miss out because I am work. I am not ungrateful for my job but I am hungering for fellowship. Going to SWBTS chapel during the week is wonderful but not the same. Missing my church home does not change my gratitude for SWBTS offering worship. I am not sure how I would get through the week with out these services.

My life is not perfect but it is wonderful. I have the Lord on my side. I love my husband even during trials. I thank our Father for the blessings I already have and ask for repentance on my coveting attitude I reflect on troubled times and the lessons learned.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your blessings and forgive me as I seem ungrateful for being envious. I ask you to continue watching over those who need Your comforting hand. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lets talk Politics.

I am very concerned about the health care reform that our president wants to propose. Please don't misunderstand. We do need an overhaul in the system. There needs to be a way for people to get good treatment when they either lose their job or have insurance taken away. A solution needs to be constructed for the less fortunate. However with the new proposed legislation I fear it will have the opposite effect than what was intended. The plan proposed is a socialized health care system where no one has to pay. It sounds great on paper but there are risks associated with it. There are wait lists for major surgeries. Companies will be forced to pay higher prices for private health insurance. The sanctity of life will be compromised. Abortions are not excluded so there is room for that in the bill. Elderly will be given "decision counseling" which could potentially lead to euthanasia. There is a "Decisions" booklet out there given to veterans on their "choices". I have seen the book and it is atrocious to give this to someone. The message in that book points to "quality of life" If passed this new reform will suggest who is worth getting the new treatments. A price tag will be put on lives. Do we honestly want this to pass?

It makes me so mad that people do not want to see what is coming because they are still in the "honeymoon" phase of Obama's presidency. People were willing to criticize Bush for the war but are not willing to be objective when it comes to our current president. I am tired of people assuming its a right wing conspiracy to protect human life and morals. It gets old having to explain why I do not agree with our current administration's policy. It is quite sad to see people fall at Obama's feet like he is a rock star and are not willing to see past the historic event. I can be honest here and say that the fawning over him is nauseating. No one wants to open their eyes to the things going on. I am not willing to call Obama the anti-Christ. I am not making assumptions that he wants to destroy our country. However he is very misguided on how to run this country. Some of his decisions are questionable. He has a very distorted view of the sanctity of life. I pray that he will have a change of heart on his policies.

Today he spoke to the nation's youth with a speech on staying in school and hard work. This was not without controversy as it was delivered the day before the health care reform to be addressed. Many people refused to let their children see the speech because there was an assumption that he was going to speak about policy for influential reasons. Conservatives are getting the backlash for their outcry against this. I am in the middle when it comes to this. I do not oppose the president speaking to the country. However if many people were concerned enough to not let their children see the speech then there has to be a warning. I do not think that a group of people would cry wolf to something that was serious to their hearts. It also makes me sick that the race card was played into this controversy. It is ridiculous to even suggest that because of the turn out of the election. If more than half of the nation voted for him then race was not an issue. I have personally spoke with some coworkers and acquaintances that voted for him and were NOT African American. The issue was that the parents felt that the government's agenda was going to pushed on to the children. I wouldn't have forbade my children from watching the speech provided I could be there with them. For something like this I think a parent has every right to be involved.

I pray for our country. I hope that if a health care reform does get passed it will be one that recognizes the sanctity of life. God created all of us in His image. He did not put a price tag on us like priced goods. I also pray that Barack Obama will have a change of heart on his policies.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Expository Preaching: Going the way of the 8 track?

Let me start with a confession. If you knew me 10 years ago I wouldn't have known what the title of this post meant. I did not pay attention to the sermon. In fact when I was at church (which was rare) I would be drawing in my bulletin, thinking about what was for lunch or glancing at the clock every 3 or 4 minutes just waiting for the message to end. I called myself a Christian, read the Bible when it suited me and attended church just for show. At the time I did not appreciate what was being presented by our servants of God. Fast forward to now where I love listening to God's word, learning to read the Bible regularly, and I actually pay attention to the sermon! There are still times that I will lose focus of whats being said but that is only if the person has the voice of a robot. Because lets be honest here, you can have the greatest sermon ever written but no one is going to listen if you sound like a machine.

Today Ricky and I had the privilege of listening to Dr. David Allen preach on the sacrifice of Christ. He took text from Leviticus 16:22 and Isaiah 52 and 53 where the coming of Jesus and what was going to happen was prophesied. He took a verse by verse approach to the scripture giving us an explanation of the verse and a description of what was happening. This was one of the best examples of expository preaching that I have seen. Some may consider it dry and boring but Dr. Allen was able to keep our interest by invoking passion and emotion to the text. Isaiah 53 is not a dry passage. It describes the coming of the exalted one, gives the description that he is going to be rejected but he will remove our transgressions by taking them all on his shoulders and bearing our sins for us. It was a joy to listen to Dr. Allen. Anyone interested in this sermon should go to and click on chapel archives.

I was blessed by the approach Dr. Allen took today in chapel. But some people would not be. Why is that? Why wouldn't someone hear the great news being told to us? Sadly it is because our churches are getting too scared to preach the text and are more worried about attracting people to church. Pastors want to reach the lost by trying to imitate the culture but in doing so they fail at what they try to succeed. The church buildings are becoming malls, the ministries are watered down as if they are hiding the true meaning of God's message, and the sermons are turning into comedy routines. Don't misunderstand. Humor is not a bad thing. Illustrations and stories are great. But when you leave out the scripture and do the disservice of keeping the congregation out of the loop then there is a major problem. But some of our churches are afraid of expository preaching because they don't want to scare the crowd. How is the flock going to get any idea of what is going on if God's word is not involved? Let me suggest that there are different ways of preaching. Expository preaching is not the only fail proof method. But pastors want to do right by their congregation and present God's word as it is supposed to be. It is okay to mix up styles of message delivery. Not all sermons have to be a verse by verse bible study. Some of my favorite sermons were not of this form. However the message was not diluted so it could be "people friendly". Lets face it. The Bible is not all pretty words and trite platitudes. It has solid biblical truth some of which is not pretty. It explains of God's judgement, Solomons life, and Jesus Crucifixion which do not paint a picture. The message is necessary though so we can understand how we are to be as servants of Christ.

Dr. Allen did not use funny illustrations today. He did not get the crowd laughing. Instead he got the audience truly paying attention to a message that is effective and important. If we are to understand the Lord's will we have to actually accept the Word. We cannot be caught up in cultural poison that could lead us down the wrong path. Let me also mention that Dr. Allen has known to get us laughing in chapel. But today he was led to give us verse by verse insight of the impending coming of Christ. We as a church have to start reading, hearing, and spreading the word unapologetically, compassionately, and boldly. Do not be afraid to use the scripture. God gave us that so we know His plans for us.