Thursday, June 26, 2008
Resist discouragement by Rick Warren
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV)
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As a pastor, I’m sure many of you are discouraged.
Some of you are discouraged over your children that their lives are not going well. Some of you are discouraged about your marriage; it’s not at all what you thought it would be. You feel deflated and disappointed.
Some of you are discouraged about your finances, or your health, or the economy, or an unanswered prayer.
I want to say something to you, and it may sound mean, but it isn’t. It’s simply truth, so I say this in love: If you’re discouraged, that’s your choice. We make a choice to be discouraged. We make a choice to let discouraging thoughts move freely through our minds. But, we can also make a choice to change our thoughts at any time, taking them captive in the Lord.
You get to choose what to focus on – your purpose or your problems, God’s power or your weakness, or your circumstances.
We can fight discouragement. Here’s a tip to help: When you get discouraged, focus somewhere else. Say to yourself, “I don’t have time to be discouraged right now. I’m too busy fulfilling my life mission.”
This doesn’t mean you should be a Pollyanna and pretend everything is okay. You can be realistic, but you also need to be optimistic because you are a Christian: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NIV). God says, “Lo, I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20 KJV). He will help you and he will strengthen you. Faith starts with optimism.
Some of you have been praying for something specific and you haven’t yet gotten the answer. In Habbakuk 2:3 (NLT), God says, “These things I plan [for your life] won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.”
Just be patient. The answer you’re waiting for will not be overdue a single day. God’s timing is always perfect.
At Saddleback, we claimed this verse from Habbakuk for 13 years. We were growing bigger and bigger, but we still didn’t have the land we needed to build a worship center. We’d tell God, “Everybody else has a building. How come we don’t have a building?”
After 13 years, God answered our prayer – and we realized he had a much bigger plan than we did. The property we built on was not even available when we first started Saddleback. There weren’t even roads leading to the property. God had a plan and slowly, steadily, surely he began to fulfill his vision.
© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
On Sunday, my sister and I visited a new store in Moreno Valley called Dress Barn. Can I just say that we LOVE LOVE LOVE this store!!!! We spent about 2 hours gleefully trying on just about everything in that store. The saleslady was very nice and helpful (knew she'd make a great sale off of us no doubt:), the dressing room was large and nicely air-conditioned and best of all the clothes were not only cute but they fit so nicely and often were in smaller sizes than we might think we wear. ;) I needed a dress to wear to my boss's wedding this coming weekend and was able to find one that is not only very pretty and flattering, but also only $20!
We found that many dresses looked good on me, but bad on Kelly. Or great on Kelly, but terrible on me. But then we found what we now refer to as the "Travelling Dresses" - 2 sexy and flattering dresses that look equally good on both of us. How this can even work when she is tall, I am short, and my chest is much larger than hers....but magically both looked so good we had to just sit and stare at ourselves wondering how can this be??? So, we bought them both of course...one will live at my house and the other will live with Kelly. We plan to wear them on opposite days while in Vegas for my birthday weekend in August. In addition, I will bring the dress that I got for the wedding and Kelly has an adorable dress that suits her perfectly! Now we have gorgeous dressy/sexy outfits to wear to our fabulous dinners at Margaritaville, Delmonico Steakhouse and Rao's. :)
I love shopping with my sister and now we LOVE shopping at Dress Barn. But we must resist the impulse to visit too often otherwise our hubbies will get upset about all the money we spend! :) Good thing we know to keep most things in moderation.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
After spending the last few minutes brushing, flossing and rinsing my teeth I have used the "cement" to reinstall my crown. It still feels a bit tender, but the feeling of emptiness is gone thankfully and the most tender spot is now recovered. Hopefully this will help until I see the dentist.
I just need to remember to not chew on my left side, or at least chew very carefully. Thanks for listening and continuing to pray. :)
Now I apparently must wait almost a week with a huge empty hole in my mouth...unless they have a cancellation and can fit me in sooner. I'm a bit stressed about whether or not it will cost anything. I think it shouldn't since a crown is supposed to last longer than 9 years (I got this one in 1999 apparently). But since they don't take my insurance if there is a cost it will be out-of-pocket...though they do accept CareCredit which we have due to all Josh's teeth issues. So if it does cost, hopefully we have enough left on our $2500 limit to cover it.
Pray for me...I get too emotional about anything remotely emotional and just sat at my desk crying because of this. I want to get it taken care of sooner, but feel unprepared to call my dentist and ask them to just take care of it...all they have to do is re-set the crown. I know that this is serving as a reminder that I need to finally go get a cleaning...it's been 6 years. Yes, I know that is too long...yes, I should have been going twice a year...but I haven't and nothing can change that fact. But I guess it's time....:(
Hopefully Gentle Dental really is gentle or I will be even more annoyed.
On Saturday I spent a couple hours going through some boxes of things I have saved over the years. I keep pretty much everything, so the items in these boxes were quite varied and not in any kind of chronological order. I found birthday cards, graduation cards (high school and college), Christmas cards, report cards from college, class schedules, and so many other things. One of the neat things was some old letters from friends who I had totally forgotten ever wrote to me. I took the time to reread them all and sent a few notes or comments on MySpace to those friends. I think they enjoyed the reminders of their past as well.
I spent the evening that night with my best friend Angela and was able to go through a box of Angela memories with her. She had been having a hard day and I was glad that God used a little gift I had found for her to bless her and remind her that she was loved. We laughed over old passed notes, got a little sad over some pictures, and tried to remember who we meant by some old code words...who was Rice? We remembered Scurvy and Jordan though. :) It's so nice to be able to look back over years of friendship and see not only how much we've changed, but also the ways we can also be the same silly girls together.
Going through the boxes also reminded me of a lost friendship from college. I remember how close we all were back then and it seems impossible that the friendship ended. There are times when I'd like to get in touch with Kristi again and see if the friendship could be revived, but other times when I just feel like it was a season friendship. Truly important in its time, but not meant to be forever. It makes me a little sad, especially rereading the notes, poems, and cards...but I'm glad that I can look back with fond memories of that time, that friendship and that experience.
Yes, I'm a pack rat and perhaps I shouldn't save all the things that I save...but when I get the chance to look back through all those saved memories I am glad that I took the time to keep it. Some of these saved memories would have been lost forever if I hadn't been so sentimental and decided to keep it. I don't think I could ever be convinced to throw these memories away...they and the people they remind me of are too important to be forgotten.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Hill & CeeCee being silly
We recently were able to go to Texas for four days to visit some really good friends - John & Melissa Cordrey and their two boys Matt & Drew. Melissa and I have been friends since 10th grade and were roommates our last three years of college. Though we don't get to see them too often, our friendship continues to stand the test of time and distance and it was a blessing to be able to visit them and see that we really are like family. We had lots of time to play with the boys, watch movies, talk and laugh a lot and even got to attend a NASCAR truck race. Though it was sad to say goodbye, we will be able to see them next month when they come out to CA to visit. And no matter how many miles or how much time separates us, our friendship lasts and that makes me feel very blessed. I love you Cordreys! :)