on taking and leaving

As I’ve mentioned, I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I picked up a few helpful tips (folding my clothes and arranging them vertically, taking all my clothes out of the closet and only putting back in what I want to keep…). I disregarded the suggestions to talk to my clothes, to greet my home when I come in every evening, and to empty my purse every night. Neither my clothes nor my home can hear me, and unloading my purse every night would be a futile task and ridiculous burden.

And that’s okay. Except for the Bible, we’re free to pick and choose, to take what we want and leave the rest. Whenever I see someone jump on a bandwagon or fangirl (or guy) over everything someone says or does, I get a little creeped out. There are so many writers and theologians and really smart, wise people whom I admire, but I can think of no one who is infallible. I have learned so much from John Piper, for example, and his The Pleasures of God changed my thinking, and really, my life. I’ve read many, if not most, of his books. But I don’t agree with him 100%. And no one agrees with me 100%.

And, again, that’s okay.

The only book that I’m not free to feel that way about is the Bible. If there’s something there that I don’t like, or that bothers me, or that just sounds weird (I’m reading through Genesis now, and woah — Jerry Springer show!) , I have to grapple with it. I can’t shrug my shoulders or just write it off. I have to wrestle with it and ask God to change ME. I have to trust Him. 100%.

I can’t pick and choose or take and leave from Scripture. I can’t be trusted to do that. And I don’t trust anyone else who does that.

Just thinking out loud,

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dictionary

My favorite local gift shop is closing its doors next week, and I stopped by yesterday to check out the 40% off deals. I snagged a couple of books – of course. This one is a treasure:

A 1960 unabridged Webster’s dictionary that is almost five inches thick:

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~ Just a word nerd playing with a new toy…

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walk

walkOff and on through the years, I’ve known people who have chosen a word for the year, and I’ve done it a time or two myself. Inspired by a recent conversation with coworkers, I’ve been thinking about a word that could be my theme for 2016, and chapter 5 of Ephesians led me to choose walk for this year. There, Paul exhorts us to:

  • walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
  • walk as children of the light 
  • look carefully how we walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

I want to grow in these areas and prayerfully meditate on how I walk in faith this year. There are so many references on walking in Scripture, and I’ll look for them as I read through the Bible.

Oh, and I also want to literally walk more this year. 🙂

So that’s my #oneword #wordoftheyear for 2016. If you have one, please share.

a brief vocabulary lesson

Sometimes I simply can’t help it; the teacher in me cannot be suppressed. I think some people (actually, probably not my readers) need a little vocabulary refresher:

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That’s a decent definition of the word hate. Please note that hate is not synonymous with disagreement.

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I am beyond tired of hearing people throw the word hate around without using it correctly. If I disagree with you or your ideas, it does not necessarily mean that I hate you or your ideas. Yes, there are some truly bad, disgusting, even evil ideas out there.

And when someone comes along and points that out, they may just be pointing that out without hating on you.

(I wrote a little about hatred here a couple of years ago.)

Edited to add: Will is on the same wavelength.

Lesson (rant?) over. Carry on.

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monday miscellany

~ I’ve had the dictionary.com app on my phone for ages, but for some reason I recently started receiving word-of-the-day emails from them. I think I should attempt to use the new word in a sentence at least once every day. Sometimes the word is a challenge to drop into conversation:

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~ 3 Facts for your fret

~ Trisha’s word for 2015.

~ Mike Rowe on following your passion. This is good stuff.

~ “You can sum up God’s agenda for your life in one word…

~ Our colder than usual weather has me wanting to knit this up STAT.

Happy Monday to you!

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“He grew strong in his faith…”

romans4As I slowly, but surely, continue my way through the 3650 Bible-reading plan, I’m reading Romans over and over. On one pass through that rich book, I marked the following, and I marveled at it again recently:

He [Abraham] did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.

Did you catch that? “He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.” Those two acts are linked, also tied to being “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” It’s something to think about, isn’t it?

random thoughts

~ I’m no Sun Tsu, but even I know that if you don’t fight a war to win, you don’t, um, win.

~ As I’m reading through Scripture, I recently came across this in Jeremiah 31:

I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

I understand the context of those words is not about me, but I know that God, and Has turned my mourning into joy. He has comforted me and given me gladness for sorrow.

~ A couple of words and phrases that annoy me:

teachable moment — it’s so pretentious. Also, moments can’t be taught anything. Some people are teachable, but moments aren’t.

gift used as a verb — what’s wrong with give??

~ Why would someone who owns a sports/muscle car drive below the speed limit?

~ September has been hotter and more humid than August. I’m ready for fall!

~ Random thoughts, random photos:

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~ I’m waiting on an electrician to check on some things at home. He said he’d be here between 9 and 10. It’s 9:45, and no sign of him, but I’ve done some laundry and gotten some mail ready to go.

~ South Beach is craaaazy, but our hotel was wonderful. I’ll share more about that soon.

~ Last night, Paul and I had our first “normal” night at home since our wedding. Normal is awesome! 🙂

And that’s it for this Wednesday. Thanks for reading, y’all!

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Amen.

51zK+xrChRL._SY300_From Mary Kassian’s Knowing God by Name:

The Hebrew words for faithful and true are both derivatives of the verb Aman, whence the word Amen draws its origin. “The God of Amen” is an Old Testament title for God (Isa. 65:16). In the New Testament, Jesus often introduced His statements with the formula, “Amen (verily/truthfully) I say unto you…” In doing so, He identified himself with God and revealed Himself as the One through whom all of God’s promises are fulfilled.

In the Book of Revelation, Christ is called “the Amen, the faithful and true witness” (Rev 3:14). Paul explained why: “All the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Cor. 1:20).

Have you ever wondered what saying “Amen” at the end of a prayer means? When you say “Amen” you are essentially saying “Faithful!” “True!” “Verified!” “Yes! Yes!! YES!!!”  Your “Amen” affirms that you believe that God’s character is trustworthy, that God is your pillar, that you are confident He will hear your prayer, be faithful and true to do what He promised, and fulfill His purposes in your life.

The Lord’s faithfulness is established (Ps. 89:2), incomparable (Ps. 89:8), unfailing (Ps. 89:33), infinite (Ps. 36:5), and everlasting (Ps. 146:6). And even if we mess up and unfaithful to Him, His faithfulness to us will endure. Scripture says, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). His character is totally and completely trustworthy. Isn’t that an amazing thought? What an awesome God He is! What a GOOD God He is!