08
Mar
stored in: 2020

“I like the way you dress!” That’s probably the first time I’ve ever heard that said to me!

My sister is the one with the fashion sense. I would wear the same thing everyday if I could. My favorite store is Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Today I wore a trench coat that I bought more than 10 years. Two people complimented me on it. I think it’s because it went out of fashion and now back in fashion. I should’ve kept some of my other old clothes. That’s what my daughter tells me. There’s nothing new under the sun.

Had a nice leisurely lunch and great conversation with a friend. Actually she is one of my daughter’s best friends, and I feel like she is one of my best friends too. We can talk about every subject. Yes, I am her friendtor – friend mentor, but I learn a lot from her too.

I hardly talked to any of the children today. Attendance was low, all the disciplers were there, so I was able to spend time with some of the preschool team. They had concerns about their older children. I probably didn’t listen enough. The thing is, we’ve talked about it before. They are not giving me new information, and just want to vent. I don’t want to let them vent. It ends up as complaining about some people. I understand their concern. They are good parents. If I were them, I’d voice my concern too. From my vantage point now, I am there to give them perspective that maybe they don’t see. Nothing can change for now. We are working on it. They have to accept the situation and be kind and patient. We are a church family. Your kids can grow through this situation.

What I should’ve emphasized more was God’s sovereign control. He knows what your child needs. We are working on it, but if things don’t change for now, God will take care of your children.

I attended worship service today, which I really needed. I was able to concentrate. Attendance was lower, which is actually kind of nice.

 

 

02
Mar
stored in: 2020

It was a perfect day to be outdoors, so hubby and I went to the park. We found a flat basketball on the court, it was so fun just trying to shoot baskets! We probably hit less than 10% accurately haha. No one was there to laugh at us except ourselves.

Now I remember how fun sports is. It’s been a while since we’ve run around like that. Great exercise while having fun. I miss playing tennis/any racket sport. I’ve gotten so lazy.

We put the ball back behind the trashcan where we found it. After our walk, I went back to play some more and the ball was gone! “Let’s buy a basketball and come play for fun every Monday!” Hopefully we will get better. I decided I need to get out more for exercise that is fun.

Our usual date on my day off is Costco and Lowe’s. Today we added Walmart, Pier 1, and Marshalls at the Chino Spectrum because we were there for In N Out using a gift card.

There were 3 cents left on the gift card after our meal.

Cashier: Do you want me to throw that away for you?

Me: No, I’ll keep it.

A penny saved is a penny earned! It’s 3 cents off next time I go to In N Out. Afterall, hubby used over 15 minutes of his life waiting in the Costco gas line to save $3.  (I told him it’s not worth his time, but I think he enjoys his quiet time while I go into Costco first. It’d be stupid for both of us to waste 15 minutes of our life for the same $3.)

I bought dip that was on sample – free samples usually works on me. The toilet paper and bottled water shelves were empty. What’s the point of hoarding water? Will the virus pandemic infect our water supply?? Will the tap water be cut off?? I stored water for the big earthquake and have since used it to water the garden.

A few years ago when we were in Taiwan during a typhoon, we had to hoard water and microwavable food from 7-Eleven. The shelves were pretty empty. We couldn’t go out for 2 days. That’s when you need to hoard. We felt safe in the hotel with our instant food. Water was actually not a problem, but there was a potential for broken water lines.

Speaking of Taiwan, we will most likely not go to Taiwan for STM this year. We’ve been there for the last 4 years. It feels strange not to go back this year. But I felt since the end of last year’s trip that we wouldn’t go back. There are many signs that our part in the ministry there is done, at least for now for the university cafe ministry. This decision was made prior to Coronavirus, and the travel restrictions now is just additional confirmation.

I thank God for the experiences of the last 4 years in Taiwan STM. It’s been more than I can imagine. In a future post I will reflect on highlights and lessons of each year, before I forget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

01
Mar
stored in: 2020

I showed the children some pictures of the beginning of our church up to now. I included a picture of how we had to take out the bungalows, so we can build a new building.

3rd grader: Why did we take out the bungalows?

Me: So we have room to build the new building.

3rd grader: Where is the new building?

Me: Next to us, don’t you see the construction going on?

3rd grader: That’s a new building?

Me: Yes.

3rd grader: Where are the bungalows?

Sigh…

What is obvious to us is not obvious to children. We adults don’t realize how much we assume children understand our adult world. I bet they don’t understand half of what we say. They just have no concept of certain ideas like land and space and size.

4th grade girl: What if someone says they believe in Jesus and then doesn’t believe anymore?

This is in response to my message on 1 Corinthians 15:58 – stand firm, let nothing move you. If we want to receive the reward of heaven with Jesus, we must keep walking with Jesus our whole life. Quitting half way through the race does not give you the prize.

Me: It’s like if I asked who wants to go to Hawaii. You’ll all raise your hand. Then I tell you, go home and pack, get ready to go. But you say I’m too busy, I want to play video games, I’m studying. Will you get to Hawaii if you don’t act like you even care to get ready to go to Hawaii?

Being a follower of Jesus is not a one time decision. If you say I want to believe in Jesus to save me, but you don’t do act like you are a follower of Jesus, you don’t obey what God wants you to do, you don’t like to go to church. You’re not getting to Hawaii.

My own message is an encouragement to myself to stay the course. Work enthusiastically for the Lord for nothing we do for the Lord is useless 1Cor 15:58 NLT

I felt so much compassion for these children. I’m afraid some will not continue on the journey. I know it’s not an easy road, there are many temptations.

“Today we celebrate 35 years of this church not quitting in following Jesus. In another 35 years, I will not be here, but you will. I want everyone of you here to celebrate the church’s 70th anniversary. How old will you be in 35 years?”

“44″, “46″

“You will be here working enthusiastically for the Lord like the aunties and uncles here serving you today. I want some of you to study the Bible so you will take my place to teach the children.”

3rd grade boy: Will you be happy when you see us from heaven?

Oh yes! I don’t know if I can see you from heaven, but if I can, I will be very happy. Most of all I will be happy to be with Jesus and look forward to seeing all of you in heaven.

I was getting choked up. May God be faithful and hold on to their mustard seed faith! May God protect them from Satan’s schemes to pluck out the seed. May God grow the seed to produce 100 fold!

 

23
Feb
stored in: 2020

Today was relaxing, I didn’t have any responsibilities with the kids. I treated myself and went to SS and worship service.

I made my rounds first and made a point to say hi to a 3rd grade boy.

Boy: I wish Maks is here. We can sit together and we can handle it.

 

Last week I was going to separate them, but if they can handle sitting together without playing around, then I’ll give them a chance. And they did well. I’m proud of him that he remembered from last week and said they can “handle it” if Maks was here!

Boy: Johnson hasn’t been here for a few weeks. I miss him.

They aren’t always the best influence on each other, but it is a friendship.

Me: I didn’t even notice Johnson hasn’t been here. I’m glad you’re keeping track of your friends. I’ll call their parents this week and find out what happened. Can you pray for them this week, and I’ll call and let you know.

Boy: ok

I’m praying too, that God will reveal himself to this precious 3rd grade boy.

I hung around and watched a bit of the little ones playing basketball. They are so cute! A few of my former students now in 7th grade were coaching and refereeing. They were quite serious, so cute too!

I wished my kids had this chance to play basketball. We signed up my son to play in NJB but he’s not athletic and didn’t like it. Stopped after one season. It was too competitive for him. I think if he played at church where people are nice, he might’ve had a better experience. I’m pretty sure my daughter would’ve liked it.

22
Feb
stored in: 2020

I spent the better part of the day just reading. But I’m a slow reader and get distracted.

So I set a timer for 10 minutes to see how many pages I read. Guess how many pages I read? 5

At this pace, I can only read 30 pages in an hour. But that’s not bad because even at this rate, I can read an average book of 250 pages in about 8 hours. If I read 1/2 an hour a day, that’s 15 pages, I should be able to finish a book in 16 days.

I’m going to try that. The problem is, I like to read before bed, and then I get sleepy. I don’t know if I can actually comprehend 15 pages in 1/2 hour. Usually I read the same pages over again the next night…

—–

I am getting over a UTI. I get them chronically. I have a standing prescription of antibiotics from my doctor. Resting at home today was good. I thank God that I was not as worried as I used to be about my UTI. I worried that I would develop a tolerance for antibiotics and will have to go to ER. But this time I wasn’t worried. I told my husband if I die, don’t feel too sad. I don’t want him to feel guilty. He can remarry. And tell the kids they can have a great life without me and I’ll see them in heaven.

This is what you think about when you’re over 60.

20
Feb
stored in: 2020

Yesterday I made yogurt in my instantpot.

Today I made kumquat marmalade and granola.

I’ve succeeded in passing on the love of homemaking to my daughters. They are both successful engineers, but ready to give up their careers to put home as a priority. They don’t think of it as a sacrifice because it’s fun and challenging. It takes great skill to be a homemaker.

Homemaking is not for the brainless and lazy. I know a lot about nutrition, not only because that was my major in college, but I research in order to give my family the best. I don’t believe the advertisements. I read every . single . label on products including shampoos, and face creams (yes, grocery shopping takes me a long time).

Don’t believe it when they tell you it’s “low fat”. Read the label. Don’t buy anything with sugar as the first ingredient. Don’t believe it when they tell you it has no sugar. Read the label. There’s probably artificial sugar.

Never buy low or non fat cream. Cream by definition is fat. Non fat cream is all artificial ingredients.

I research what medicine to take or not take, what natural remedies and supplements we should take. And yes, I believe in using high quality essential oils and herbal medicine (though I’d be very careful with that.)

I know a lot about raising children. My kids and I did a lot of crafts and self-learning together.

I don’t love to garden, but my MIL does. I read labels of fertilizers so we can have organic herbs and vegetables. We have a bumper crop of oregano and thyme if anyone needs any.

At each stage of life there are new challenges. Homemaking is more challenging than engineering and much more satisfying. What job can be compared with the job of taking care of your precious family?

I must say though, living on a farm, the pioneer life doesn’t appeal to me. I know it’s hard work. I only want to do the fun parts of homemaking.

I am sorry that women do not value homemaking. You don’t have to be married to be a homemaker.

 

 

 

18
Feb
stored in: 2020

I have so much to learn, so little time.

I am learning what family ministry looks like for our church.

I am learning what a Christ-exalting children ministry would look like.

I am learning the centrality of Jesus in my walk with God.

Yes, I knew these things before. But lately I feel like I am learning all over again, perhaps at a different level.

I think God is opening up my mind and heart to learn so I don’t get complacent. I am also learning how empty I would be without the Holy Spirit.

I need to learn to cultivate stillness before God so I don’t just learn things about God and miss out on God himself.

17
Feb

I told my son-in-law today that I wish I was younger so I can stay in my job longer. I think I’ve been saying this recently.

At the interview for this job 7 years ago, I told the search committee that I don’t see myself working beyond 5 years. I never wanted the pressure of working in ministry. I thought ministry as a job would take all the fun out of ministry.

But at the ministry training this past Saturday where I had to articulate the vision for the children ministry, I realized how much I believe in the vision. I realized I want to see it through. I wish I were younger.

And talking to my SIL made me realized how God has put me here for such a time as this. “I don’t need job security. I can tell the pastors what I want. If they want the children ministry to go in a direction that I don’t agree with, I can just quit.” No one has disagreed with me. So ministry has been fun.

God is so good to me.

President’s Day allowed us to get together with both granddaughters. Went to the park, picnic, leisurely stroll. I remember how it was to pack the diaper bag and all the paraphernalia just for a few hours out.

If I had 1 year to live, I’d spend my time with my kids and grandkids. Oh, and my husband too, haha. Freudian slip – shows what I always tell people – I’m a much better mom than a wife. So now I tell all young moms, don’t ignore your husband.

 

 

I’ve been wanting to read through this book for a long time. I’ve read bits and pieces of it, now I’ve read it cover to cover.

There are many excellent points on how to teach more effectively. The best part though is the Appendix on how to teach this material to other teachers. It includes activities for each lesson plan which are good ideas to use in any lesson. Ex: draw a picture of how you think a person learns.

I wish teachers of adults know how to use more teaching methods. They think lecture and discussion are the only ways to teach.

I will teach those lesson plans one day.

Highly recommend this book. Dr. Hendricks is humorous and shares a lot of his experiences. The passing of that generation of Christian leaders is a lost to this generation. But at least we have his books.

Done with my February book.

I started to read Discipling by Mark Dever. I expected it to be a very basic book, and it is. And it is just too boring in presenting basic material. I’m putting it back on the shelf.

 

 

09
Feb
stored in: 2020

More 36 questions with hubby:

#13 If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

Me: I don’t want to know when I die, that would be scary.

Hubs: But you can prepare. If I knew I only had one year to live, we can spend money and go on a cruise.

Me: If I had one year to live, I would want to spend time with people and tell them about Jesus. Actually, we can do that now and we can go on a cruise now too.

Me: Maybe I want to know if I’m really going to be in heaven.

Hubs: You already know that, don’t waste the crystal ball on that.

Me: Yeah, good point.

Hubs: I’d want to know which stocks will be up in the next months.

Me: ok, make some money and we’ll go on a cruise.

—-

Today in Children Worship, within 5 minutes after my sermon, I asked one of the 4th grade girls whom I know well and was very attentive: What is one thing you learned from the message today? …*cricket chirp*…Do you remember one thing?…ok, bye!…

Teaching children is very humbling. Even when I thought I had a very good lesson, it’s not about me. It’s all up to God to do the rest.

A new family came. The whole family – mom, dad, 3rd grader, 2nd grader, baby – came to Children Worship. The parents want to help the 2 elementary kids adjust to their first time here. “We attend an Indonesian church, but we don’t have anything for the children. We like it here already.”

How can you like a church you’ve only just attended the children worship? Do you choose a home church based on what the children ministry looks like? Can you discern our theology from one sermon you heard from me?

Our church is attracting families from small churches without children/youth ministries. But my kids were raised in a small church without that. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing, but small churches have many things to offer that a larger church cannot. There is a place for small churches and God accomplishes His purposes through small churches. I wish parents would not decide to come to our church based on what looks like a “good children and youth program” which they conclude based on our size.

My voice is really tired today.

06
Feb
stored in: 2020

The idea of quality of life is overrated.

We wouldn’t consider Paul or Jesus to have had “quality of life”.

Timothy had physically ailments 1 Tim 5:23.

Yet they lived out God’s calling with impactful lives.

My fear of aging is suffering and “quality of life” for myself and/or my husband. If my husband is paralyzed by a stroke, both of us will suffer. I don’t want to suffer. I’ve gone through some suffering and lived through it. I can see God’s faithfulness through all of it. The pain has dimmed over time. But prior suffering hasn’t made me braver to face future suffering.

God reminds me that He will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter how the world defines “quality of life”, my life WITH CHRIST IS quality of life.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Cor 4:17-18

Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

05
Feb
stored in: 2020

I wish I had the opportunity to meet Howard Hendricks.

“If I scheduled a seminar at your church and then walked in drunk, you’d dismiss me immediately. But if I walked in fifty pounds overweight, you’d feed me more, right? Sure – after all, you can’t have a Christian gathering without food. Did you ever wonder how the early church made it without coffee and doughnuts? I’ll tell you: They had something better to provide togetherness – persecution. That’ll weld you together in a hurry.” p31 Teaching to Change Lives, Howard Hendricks.

Praying with a 4 year old today gave me a picture of going to God as a child. The security of a child in the arms of her father and the full trust in her father’s love and strength is what God is calling me to with Him.

I have a low grade anxiety about aging and death. This picture that God showed me is a comfort. Lo, I am with you always.

 

 

03
Feb
stored in: 2020

02.02.2020

At church yesterday:

Friend: Are you guys free today? Want to invite you and your husband over.

Me: Aren’t you watching the Superbowl?

Friend: I just found out who is playing.

Me: I don’t even know who’s playing. Sure, we’re free.

We had talked about going to his house to look at his landscape. I was wondering if it was an invitation for dinner. When I ask someone to come over, it’s usually for a meal.

Friend: Great, we can chat over coffee and dessert or something. How about 2ish?

I’ve never had anyone over without a meal. And it was really a lovely time talking over a cup of soup (because I don’t drink coffee.)

I took it that we are not invited for dinner, so at 4:30 I said it’s time to go. He said, “Oh it’s still early. Stay longer.” At 5:00 we got up to leave and we said good bye.

It was hard to know the social decorum in that situation. Was 5:00 too late? Was it part of the game of being polite to say that 4:30 was still early? Should I have just left then? I don’t really know how to play this game. They are good friends but I’ve never done this before.

But now I know I can invite someone over to chat without inviting them for a meal. It was so nice to spend a couple hours together without the stress of preparing a meal. I didn’t mind at all that I wasn’t there for a meal. The conversation and sharing was satisfying enough.

But I also wonder what I would do if they don’t leave? I would want them to leave before I have to go cook dinner. Do I then have to ask them to stay for dinner? But I wouldn’t have had anything prepared.

It’d be better if I had an excuse like “I have to leave at 5:30, are you free to come for coffee before that?”

That means I can only invite someone over for coffee if I had actual plans later so I wouldn’t be lying.

Life is difficult.

 

02
Feb
stored in: 2020

Hubby and I answering 36 Questions:

Q2: Would you like to be famous? In what way?

Me: I want to be famous like Mother Teresa.

Hubby: I want to be famous like Elon Musk.

Q9: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Hubby: I am most grateful for you. Are you going to say you’re grateful for me?

Me: hmmm, ok.

Opposites attract, I guess.

—-

Two first graders throwing crackers over the rail to courtyard below:

Me: Do you know why it’s wrong to do that?

No answer.

Me: Do you think it’s right to make church messy? Do you think it’s right that someone will have to clean up the mess you made? Now you tell me why it’s wrong.

Kids: It might hit someone. It makes a mess.

Me: Now you know it’s wrong. Let’s pray to ask God to forgive you.

Kids: Please forgive me for making someone do extra work.

 

 

31
Jan

What did you do today, mom?

I made the decision to postpone OWL and sent an email to parents to explain why.

I read and listened to sermons to prepare for a talk on Biblical womanhood.

I reviewed a book that I read to prepare to train children ministry leaders.

I planned and sent an email to the Sunday disciplers.

I prepared to lead a devo and prayer for VBS meeting.

I had lunch with my friends.

I cooked kumquat chicken.

I looked at pictures of my granddaughters multiple times.

I read the Bible.

I almost went to play tennis with a friend, but canceled it because we were both rushed.

I did 2 loads of laundry.

I talked to my husband about pensions and retirement. I wonder what it’s like to retire.

I enjoyed everything I did today.

27
Jan

01.26.2020 Sunday

God gave me the words and wisdom to talk to a disgruntle dad. At the end, he graciously said: I understand now that you explained it.

His response was better than expected. It’s all God’s work.

However, on Friday, another disgruntle dad was not as understanding. I was not the one talking to him, and I wish I was. But we’ve prayed about this, I wanted to empower our volunteer to talk to him, and I’m leaving this in God’s hands.

Had an encouraging conversation with SP during lunch. Her faith in practical everyday ways is inspiring. She has a deep desire to tell co-workers about Christ and willing to stay in her minimum wage job as a calling. She is so much more mature in her faith than me who is suppose to be a spiritual leader of the church. Praise God for people like her in our church. She reminds me of why I am here and how I can grow.

01.27.2020 Monday

Pastor’s retreat all day. I’m tired because I did something in the morning that I’ve never done before. I was up at 5:00am and couldn’t go back to sleep. So at 6:30 I went on the elliptical for 20 minutes before I got dressed.

It was good to hear the other pastors’ heart for their congregation.

I’m glad they get paid the big bucks for what they do.

 

21
Jan
stored in: General

01.20.2020

I don’t remember that my husband and I have ever gone to Disneyland just the two of us. We did yesterday, because his office offered free tickets as a reward for a good year.

My husband doesn’t love Disneyland. The times I’ve gone is with my girls. So as I expected, he was ready to leave before I was ready to leave. To be fair, I’m not the most exciting person to go with to Disneyland. I don’t like the thrill rides whereas he would’ve enjoyed those. I’m happy going to Small World and Peter Pan. He fell asleep on those.

I like just walking around and looking at things. We clocked in over 23,5oo steps!

Since it’s a once in a lifetime date (we probably won’t go alone again unless we get free tickets again) we stayed through fireworks. He was glad he did, and I’m thankful he’s always agreeable to do whatever I want to do.

Highlights:

  • Fantasmic. And then we can see the fireworks in the same area without rushing to Main Street. Because it was a bit cold in the evening, the crowd, especially families with children, thinned out. We were able to get a good view.
  • Having lunch with his office people. There were about a dozen of them who came. Got to know them a bit. We were the oldest ones…none of the older agents in his office took the offer for free tickets. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to go to Disneyland for free! I wouldn’t have mind hanging out with the people more, but we lost them after lunch.
  • Using the Disneyland app. The old days of the paper map are gone. It’s much more efficient with the phone. We pre-ordered Mickey beignets and skipped the line. Chose that over Dole whip because it was cold.
  • No lines at Pirates and Small World.
  • Storybook Land!
  • Jungle Cruise at night.

I liked the old Submarine where it felt “real”. Now with Nemo in there, it’s just another cartoon.

The wonder of Disneyland hasn’t been the same ever since Tomorrowland couldn’t keep up with tomorrow. I mean, I have a real self-driving car…the Monorail is no longer cutting edge like it used to be when I went as a child. They need to call Tomorrowland something else. But hopefully not based on a movie.

But I still love the artistry and imagination that went into the design of each ride in each land. The Haunted Mansion still amazes me. I still love Small World and Peter Pan.

The best thing was to know that I can walk 23,500 steps without problems and my husband and I can still be happy at the Happiest Place on Earth.

18
Jan
stored in: 2020

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last two days preparing for a 15 minute lesson for Awana.

The topic is Jesus the sacrifice. It can be taught very simply=Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.

But every child has heard it in the same way. I think they’ve tuned it out. To be honest, I know that so well too that it no longer stirs up amazement. Jesus’s sacrifice is much greater than a simple died-on-the-cross.

I want to teach atonement. I want to teach how God came near through the sacrificial system. I tried preparing a 15 minutes message in children’s terms that embodies the richness of sacrifice.

I couldn’t do it.

So I cut it down to this main outline: People try all kinds of ways to please God to forgive them and allow them into heaven. But there is only way that God will accept. There is only one that is sinless and perfect. That is Jesus.

I am satisfied with it. I’ll see how it goes over tonight.

I didn’t sleep well, maybe because I’m thinking about this. You’d think speaking to children is not difficult, but it’s not as easy as it looks. You have to take a big topic and make it understandable. Children’s messages should not be simple and boring. My fear is that my messages are simple and boring.

I am qi deficient – low energy. The remedy is reduce stress with more rest. Eat more fermented products. I need to buy some sauerkraut.

 

 

 

I borrowed this book from Aaron based on his review.

It took a while for me to read through this book. I actually learned a lot, in fact, gained a few life-changing insights. But it was just too heavy to face all my failings of these impossible commands, and having to confess my sins throughout the reading. I appreciate Christ and my salvation more as I see the high standards expected of us. Christ met all these impossible commands, and his righteousness is imputed to me. That’s impossible grace.

The way the author explained the concepts touches the heart and motives. I jotted down some points I want to remember:

God gives us the ability to obey his commands.

Interesting look at Lazarus when Jesus COMMANDED a dead man to come out of the tomb. How does he expect a dead guy to obey that command?? It’s an impossible command! In order for Lazarus to obey Jesus, Jesus would have to enable him, give him the power to obey.

Similarly, when God gives us commands, he also gives us the power to obey them.

Eight impossible commands were covered:

Love the Lord, always – Similar to loving your spouse, it’s not always a feeling but who we choose to love exclusive of others. What idols and other loves do we need to put to death in order to love God? Col 3:5

Rejoice in the Lord, always – Joy does not belong in the “feeling” bucket; it belongs in the “action” bucket. Jesus died for our joy John 17:13. Habakuk, my favorite book, rejoices in the midst of the worst case scenario Hab 3:17-18. Do I practice defiant joy by faith in the midst of suffering?

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect – God is only one who can make us perfect. He did that through Jesus. Perfection is not a target we aim for but a gift we receive. It’s a standard Jesus has met and welcome us in. Pursue holiness without guilt.

Do not be afraid – Replace fear with a greater fear of God. Lift your eyes beyond the anxiety and see the greatness of God. He is far bigger than anything or anyone that we are afraid of.

Love one another – “Reactive” love is loving something we would naturally love. Active love is loving the unlovely – an impossible command. We love freely because Jesus loved us and we are freed from sin. The more we know who we are in Christ, the more we are free to love. Love takes risk to go outside and across the room. Maximal love is doing more than minimum. This hit home with me because I don’t love maximumly.

Give cheerfully – Everything we have belongs to God. We think of success as accumulating more so we can retire in luxury. That’s what the rich man in Luke 16 thought. His story could’ve ended well if he had given some of his riches away instead of building more barns. I liked the way the author wrote an alternative ending. It made me think what ending I will choose.

Be completely humble – Choose to be in the back of the line. It will free you up from striving. I like this picture as I am that person who tries to get ahead in the queue.

Run away – We will not naturally run away from an attractive sin unless we are attracted to a greater love. Ask God to turn our love from sinning to love him.

Joyless obedience is legalism. Careless disobedience is libertarianism. Joyful obedience is to take God’s commands seriously at the same time delight in God’s grace and forgiveness.

We can obey impossible commands with 4 steps – Admit I can’t, confess I’m sorry, ask God please help, then Let’s go to do it. No excuses.

14
Jan
stored in: 2020

I think I have the best job in the world. The pay is ok, the health benefits are great though, and we have a great staff.

I don’t know if I spoke out of line today at staff meeting. I process externally, and just say what I think. HL is the same, so if we disagree, it may sound bad. But that’s just the way we talk. I wish PT was there today, he can usually give clarity and he understands me. We don’t always agree, but we can agree to disagree.

I am thankful for our staff who challenges me to think differently. Though we may disagree, I respect their views and their final decisions. I didn’t always feel this way with my former church leadership. Maybe I was just less humble then.

I am also thankful for seeing the openness and maturity in our pastors. They admit their faults and where they need to grow. This staff is in some ways a small group for me. We don’t get too personal, but we do share our concerns and our spiritual walk. And having a shared common interest in ministry makes it easier for me to relate to them.

I am in a couple of groups, and I lead these groups. I am not in a group that I don’t lead, except staff meeting.

While I’ve been praying and keeping my eyes open for a mentor/coach for a while now, Pastor A has been in that role to me. Maybe I don’t need another. But maybe I don’t know what I’m missing by not having this type of relationship with a woman.

Maybe I like Pastor A because he’s not over sympathetic as women tend to be. He can just point out the facts, which I appreciate. Like when he told me I shouldn’t think about retirement. I don’t know if a woman would tell me that. I would imagine a woman would be sympathetic and tell me it’s ok to retire. I like people to challenge my thinking because I am sure I’m often wrong.

My husband doesn’t challenge me too often. He’s too nice and he loves me too much. Once in a while he’ll not give in to me, and then I get mad. I’ve been spoiled by him. But if other people point out my sin, I don’t mind it. I may react with defensiveness at a first response. But I do think about it and appreciate the challenge. Everyone should be open to criticism. Isn’t that how we grow?