Read this the other day in an article by Richard Kaufmann on prayer (yes, for class). I don’t have anything to add other than: “wow, very interesting”: On Matthew 6:5-6 (don’t pray like the hypocrites in the street & synagogues wanting to be seen by men, but in secret to your Father)

Now notice Jesus says the test of hypocrisy is – inner prayer. How can you tell if you are a hypocrite? Hypocrites are people who claim to be Christians but have no interior prayer. They may pray grace before meals. They may pray in community group, in worship services, in civic events, but they have no interior prayer life. We often come up with our own tests of hypocrisy. For example, sex. That person is a hypocrite – they claim to be a Christian but they are in an immoral relationship. Or wealth. They claim to be a Christian but they are selfish. They spend all their money on themselves. But Jesus says the test is prayer. Private prayer is the only Christian activity that no one but God sees. Private prayer is the test of hypocrisy.

For Jen H.

I’m not calling Jen out, I just know she has a deep interest in humility. She should write a book about it some day.

I’m pondering humility this morning. Studying psalm 4, which contains one of the “be angry & do not sin” verses. As usual I am struck by the context I was previously unaware of (are you shocked yet by my lack of biblical knowledge? ha…).

After a ‘retort’ to people apparently slandering him he appears to be preaching to himself:

Be angry and do not sin; Ponder in your own hearts on your bed and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the Lord

I’m not entirely sure i’ve heard that verse preached, but a similar one, Eph. 4:26, and usually heard/thought that verse with the idea that it’s only ok to act angry when it’s REALLY justifiable (no idea what my criteria for that is). But here it sounds as though he’s saying to basically shut up when we’re angry, which I could see as a means to “not sin” in the anger. “Ponder it” in your heart…in the presence of God…but don’t take the opportunity to cut into the offenders. Instead continue in your ‘sacrific’e & trust God for our validation whether or not we receive any from man.

What REALLY struck me w/that is the humility necessary to walk that out. I’d be hard-pressed to take accusation (false OR deserved accusation) w/o lashing out. Can you imagine what it takes for a prominent figure to walk that out? A king? & it’s not merely trying to ignore it & stew silently (until i explode…). But “put your trust in the Lord”.

Nope, not possible. ….which reminds me…have i mentioned lately that i need Jesus to continually sanctify me?

Last, a short quote on anger from a commentary on Ephesians 4:26:

The spring of it is a corrupt heart, it is stirred up by satan, encouraged by pride, and increased by grievous words and reproachful language.

Baby Shower Gifts

I am not very romantic. I appreciate romance & am incredibly grateful that my husband IS romantic, however, I lack…something. I tend to be more utilitarian practical. I love practical gifts. Our first christmas together ryan bought me a pair of diamond earrings & a (really cool) toiletry bag. I apparently gushed a little too much over the toiletry bag & not enough over the earrings…i could be wrong but I don’t think i’ve received jewelry since (which is fine by me).

That being said, this evening I was giving the kids a bath & it struck me that in just over 3 years I have NEVER bought baby soap/shampoo. We were given THAT much baby shampoo when I was pregnant with Asher (& one bottle for Grace). I was trying to calculate as the kids were playing & realized it wouldn’t work b/c I used to also use it on Anna Banana (that was our hairless dog that had to be bathed once a week) until a few months after Grace was born…. But I’m thinking i’m averaging about 1 bottle/year. So on that math We still have 3.5 YEARS of free baby shampoo. So thanks, to all of you who gave us baby shampoo 3 years ago. That’s way cooler than ‘tooth-fairy’ boxes (or whatever those things are called) in my book.

Course we might start using it up quicker if the kids start deciding they want more than one bath a week…..(kidding!…sort of….)

5.19 explained

As the last post would indicate, I woke up at 5:19 a.m.

Over the last 3 week I’ve decided that I require 7 hours of sleep and that I operate quite well when I got to bed at 12 and wake up at 7.  Going to bed at 12 and waking up at 5:15… well, that just stinks.

Thanks Jamie.

I’m being stalked

It really started coming up on 9 years ago, but I didn’t honestly notice until last year. Then the past 6 months it’s gotten more intense leading up to the past two weeks where there’s no more secrets. I am clearly being stalked….by the Gospel.

( Sorry, couldn’t help myself)

So, when most people think of the Gospel, it’s what “saves” you. Jesus came, died & rose again so that we can go to Heaven….right? Well….what’s been “stalking” me is this concept (from an article written by my professor):

We often reduce the gospel to “God’s plan of salvation” for lost people to be saved from sin’s penalty, not realizing that it is also “God’s plan of salvation” for Christians to be saved from sin’s power. The same gospel message that saves sinners also sanctifies saints.

It’s just funny that absolutely everywhere I turn lately I’m bombarded with this. Whether reading it in books, on blogs, in emails, hearing it in sermons, in conversations, in songs, certainly in class….the kicker was Sunday night we attended a bible study (which was great fun, the first time in a LONG time I’ve attended a bible study with Ryan (usually just go to women’s things)), and were discussing Philippians 1. I didn’t take notes so i can’t remember how it all went down, but very quickly, “the Gospel is continually saving/sanctifying us” thing came up…to what at the time seemed not super-related. BUT…um…duh Jenn (people don’t say duh anymore do they?)…i think all this stalking is due to the fact that EVERYTHING is about this. Not being stalked…it’s just everywhere & I guess I’m finally seeing it….everywhere that is.