Thursday, December 23, 2010

The beginning...

So, my goal here is just to share what God is doing in my life.  It is a way for me to organize and keep track of my thoughts.  Last week I started studying on Mary the mother of Jesus, and it has been really neat.  God is teaching me a lot.  Here is what I learned yesterday. It was so cool because after I wrote this, God gave me an opportunity to practice what I was preaching. So here is what I learned...

December 22, 2010
Luke 2:22-40

            This is the passage where Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple and they meet Simeon and Anna.  Verse 33 is where it talks about Joseph and Mary and it says “His father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.”  This verse comes right after Simeon’s dialog about Jesus to God.  I think it is interesting because they were new parents first of all, and not only that, but their child was God, the savior of the world.  I think I would be marveling too! 
            Then Simeon turns to Mary and says something just for her.  He tells her basically of what Jesus is going to do here on earth and the opposition he will face, and he says that she will also endure great sorrow.  Talk about an encouragement!  Simeon blesses God for letting him see the savior, and then turns to Mary and says “oh, by the way, your son is going to suffer and it is going to hurt you too.”  I think that would be very difficult to hear, but I’m sure Mary graciously listened and treasured it in her heart.  I’m sure she knew that being the Mother of the Messiah would not be easy.  I would guess that she was even more determined to enjoy and treasure these moments when he was young and she got to spend time with him and enjoy being with him. 
            Then Anna comes up and does the same thing.  The Bible doesn’t tell us what she said, but it does tell us some background on Anna.  It says that she was with her husband for 7 years before he died and then remained a widow until this point when she is 84 years old!  She spent her days worshiping and fasting in the temple.  She seems like quite the woman.  I can’t imagine marrying Jerrod and being with him for seven years then having him die. I would be a widow at 28 years old.  If things go according to plan we’d have one or two kids by then.  I would be a widow and single mother.  And then to remain single for the rest of my life and worship and fast all the time, I don’t know that I would be able to do that.   I know that it would be a very trying thing for me, but could I say that I would still be able to worship God and praise Him for that?  It would be hard, that’s for sure, but that is what Anna did.  She was rewarded for her faithfulness too and she got to see the Messiah first hand.  Then it says that she told everyone who was waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.  She told EVERYONE!  That’s how excited she was.  Do I get that excited about the things God does?  Do I share with everyone the blessings He gives to me?  I could turn this into a “do you share the gospel” speech, but I think that we get a lot of that.  Not that it is not good to be reminded that we need to share the gospel, because I know I am guilty of not doing it enough, but I think for now I am going to take a little different route. 
Anna was not only sharing that she saw the messiah, but she was sharing a blessing God had given to her.  When was the last time that I received a blessing from God? When was the last time I shared with someone the blessing I had received?  I think that there are two parts to this.  First of all do we recognize the things God is doing in our lives?  I know for me, that sometimes I just take those things for granted.  My dad just got a good report on his CAT scan.  That is a blessing from God that I can share.  No matter how big or small I think that there are things every day that God does for us, that we should recognize and be thankful for, but yet we are so selfish that we just expect God to do things like that for us and don’t give him credit.  What a selfish attitude to have. 
The second part is then sharing those blessings.  Once we are able to recognize the blessings he does for us, then we can and should share them with others.  I think that this is a great way to be a testimony to others of the things God has done for us.  Some people we come in contact with or know, are not open to hearing a gospel presentation.  Those people are the ones that need to see the gospel lived out in our lives.  Share with them what God is doing in your life! I say this for myself too.  I don’t always share with people around me what God is doing because I don’t want them to think I’m weird for giving God credit for something so simple or I’m being proud and wanting them to see all the great things God is doing in my life.  I need to remember that God knows how many hairs are on my head, so why would he not do little things in my life?  Those little things are obviously important to God.  I also need to remember that as long as I have the right attitude it is not pride when I share what God is doing in my life.  Sometimes I think that because I know that when other people share things God is doing I get jealous.  Why can’t God make my school bill disappear? Or why can’t my family get a really nice car given to them? Why? Why? Why?  That is jealousy and it’s wrong.  It is the wrong attitude.  The truth is that I should be happy for what God is doing in other people’s lives, not jealous and asking why he doesn’t do that for me.  In all honesty, I don’t want everyone else’s lives, I just want the same blessings and I want to play God.  That is wrong. “He’s God and I’m not.” It’s something Pastor Wingate says and I definitely need to hear it a lot.  I need to recognize God is bringing things into my life that are going to shape me into the woman he wants me to be. I asked for it!  I can share the blessings he is giving me with a humble heart and attitude and I can rejoice with others over what he is doing in their lives as well. 
So then we leave the temple as Mary, Joseph and Jesus head back to Nazareth, their hometown.  I guess my two main points for today are 1. Recognize the blessings in your life and 2. Tell others about those blessings.  Live out the gospel.  That is going to be something I will have to work on, but I know it will be neat once I do start to recognize the blessings God gives me.  

So after all this, I was loading up my van all morning so that I could drive home for Christmas after work.  I finished loading and was ready to leave for work and when I tried to turn on my van it wouldn't start.  I called several people trying to find someone still in town and available to help me and Carl came to my rescue.  He came a jumped my van (I think the battery died b/c I had the doors open all morning as I was packing) and as I was pulling out he noticed I was leaking transmission fluid.  So I drove to the auto parts store and he met me there.  I stayed out with the van and kept it running and he went in and got the stuff.  once everything was fixed and he said I was good to go I asked how much I owed him, because I was going to pay him back for whatever he spent on the stuff for my van.  When I asked that he said, "Nothing. I am not going to let a girl pay for stuff for her car." We said good bye and I got in my van and just thought "Wow, what a blessing."  It was so cool!  God gave me an opportunity to recognize a blessing in my life and was waiting to see me share it with others.  On my way to work then, I called my mom and Krisanna to tell them about my blessing.  Something as simple as that can be such a blessing, and I am so thankful God allowed me to see it as a blessing and share it with others!

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