And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Friday, September 22, 2017

Order

I love orderliness. Having things in order and scheduled and properly placed makes me so happy. When things are in disorder in my life, I feel ill at ease, jittery, and frustrated. Even with all my attention to order, when I received the book Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald for review, I realized some things in my "private world" were not in order. This book I received free from Handlebar is a revised and updated version of this book that was first released in 1984.



I am familar with Gordon MacDonald from reviewing his book Going Deep several years ago. In fact, this review made me wish I could reread that book, but I gave it away. I will be checking my library soon to see if they have a copy.

This book is completely different from that one. Ordering Your Private World focuses on our need to our private world scheduled and ordered. MacDonald touches on disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, journaling, singing, and times of silence and solitude. He also brings ideas like "sabbathing" to the equation. As he explores all of these private world components, he introduces quotes and ideas from many other authors and Christian leaders.

From the preface pg XIII:

"But there is also a busyness (a destructive busyness, actually) that reflects a chaotic way of life- a way of doing in which one is simply responding to the next thing in the day. The next thing! It makes no difference whether it has significance; it's just the next thing, and one does it because it's there to do."

That reflects the message I found most significant in the whole book. When our time isn't previously ordered, we fall victim to the chaos of having no direction. It's like Dave Ramsey's philosophy about money- if you don't have a plan for it then it just disappears frivolously. We are called to be stewards of the time and the money that God gives us.

This isn't a book with 10 steps to order your private world or 11 principles about ordering your world. Instead, it is a book of things to ponder, to contemplate, to consider. I've read very few books this year other than the Bible. I wanted to step away from all the books, all the written "noise", and focus on God's Word directly. I hesitated to accept this book for review but the word "order" enticed me. I'm so glad I did get it and read it. It has valuable ideas and information that are relevant in this day and time more than ever. It also includes an extensive study guide in the back making it perfect for a small group atmosphere.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Love

Yesterday, our pastor gave an excellent sermon on alignment. I won't steal his words to post here, but it did get me to thinking about the importance of aligning our lives with God's Word. It also connected to a book that I'll be reviewing for you soon. I won't go into info on that book just yet. However, when I sat down for some quiet time last night, I opened up to Ephesians chapter 5.

I've been doing a little Scripture writing and doodling on love lately. It's just been something on my mind so much recently. The world's current view of love is so vastly separated from God's words on love. As I've written verses I've been reminded of God's love for us and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made in the name of that love.

Anyhow, back to Ephesians 5. So I sat to write some of the verses from the beginning of that chapter. It isn't an easy chapter. In fact, it was plain uncomfortable as I thought about the alignment message along with these verses!


Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Those are the words in NKJV which is my preference. The NIV translates "filthiness" as "obscenity". Now I don't know about you but some of those gave me a little gut-check. It is serious when there is talk of no inheritance in the kingdom and God's wrath. Paul was writing these words to the church at Ephesus in love. A love that we don't see often today. A love wrought with correction for eternal consequences. 
The world as a whole isn't a place receptive to true love, but Christians I think we need to align our lives and our definition of love with God's Word. I will be continuing my personal "love" study for awhile. 
Do you have any "love" verse suggestions for me? 


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Silly Soccer

This was a post from 6 years ago:

Silly Soccer

Perhaps we should have invested in one of these Little Tikes Easy Score Soccer sets and explained soccer to Speedy a little more before he began playing.........

He seems to really believe soccer is actually football (perhaps all the international knowledge and cultural learning has been a bad thing)........ Papaw says its because we watch too much football (guilty as charged).........It's not a good thing that Speedy keeps trying to tackle other players during soccer........ It's also not uncommon to see him fall on the ball and protect it..........He was so agressive about it tonight that all the other players just stepped back and watched him.......

The first game is Saturday...... think we can deprogram him by then? Of course in 2 years he'll be old enough to swap to football..........


Funny enough, soccer never really was his sport. Even though I try to prompt him every year, I haven't talked him into football ever. Just shows we never really know where their strengths, weaknesses, and interests will be.

Apple was our first soccer player and still loves it. It's been a rough season and for the first time ever we let her/ made her quit a team. God had better plans in mind and put the right coach with the team for the remainder of the season so she was able to continue playing. It was such a blessing during a difficult time. I love that God works out even the little things for us. It was also a great lesson for Apple about praying in tough situations, following God's prompting, then seeing how He worked things out.