Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
i dont have time right now to truly reflect on all i am learning in the study this week, but i wanted to share a Tozer quote she included in one of the days. i hope it challenges you as much as it challenged me!
"We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety... But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed."
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
so this week Mr.Pate and I are babysitting and housesitting for a family at our church. what does this entail? watching three of their five children, three puppies, one wild dog and some baby chicks. we are living in smiths grove, out in the country. which if you know me then you know is a big stretch for me. i don't feel safe in the country... there is just too much darkness and I am not close enough to people!
anyhow, these people have a great house with a pool, a tv in practically every room, a huge dream kitchen and a tanning bed! but...
1. it has rained alot so we haven't enjoyed the pool yet
2. i only have time to watch tv late at night after the kiddos are asleep but by then i am sleepy too so there is very little hgtv watching happening
3. i am not used to cooking for children and it never fails that kids' tastes suddenly change when mom is gone ("i don't eat that"- child... "your mom says you do"-me... "no i don't!"-child... "its this or nothing"-me.... child eventually eats the food) so the kitchen has not been as enjoyable as i would like
4. i have successfully laid in the tanning bed twice... this is the only perk i have taken advantage of, which if you know my mom and sister sounds about right... tanning is a priority in my family! ha (side-note: i haven't been in a tanning bed in three years!)
you would think watching children is great practice for the future, and I suppose there is some truth to that. but what i have found is that you spend majority of your time just trying to figure out how that family does stuff instead of practicing how you will do stuff... if i hear the statement "our mom doesn't do it that way" one more time!!
no, but seriously, this week has been a blessing. the kids are good kids and play really well for the most part. they have learned that Mr.Pate and I mean business when we ask them to do something and they have learned to obey us very well. It has been (and always is when we babysit) fun to see Mr.Pate with the kids, that man is going to be such an amazing father!!! I am blessed!
blogging about watching children gives me a craving to watch Adventures in Babysitting, anyone want to come over and join me? Ha...
in my "no other gods" study this week i have been looking at the problem with 'people gods', or letting people be our functional gods. it has really hit home with me. i want to share just a few challenges points for me.
1. "Out of my own desperate to be chosen and loved, I have often hoped that what I could bring to the table would win the heart of the person I wanted to love me."
This has been a truth in my life since I was tiny. Most of you have heard me talk about what a manipulator I can be, and definitely have been in the past. One of my biggest struggles in life is that I think I can do anything, I can control everything, I am capable of anything. Some people might look at that sentence and think that this kind of self confidence is a good thing that most people lack, but for me it is the root of all my sin. I try to be my own god; I try to manifest my own destiny.
The whole "what i could bring to the table" phrase really struck my heart this week, because I am always trying to think of what i can do to get that persons approval, to win that persons love, to get those peoples attention etc. I am realizing that I do this with everyone in life practically! My husband, friends, family, acquaintances, my church, my youth, my blog readers, the list goes on and on... I think i even do this with my dog for crying out loud!
2. During the bible study this week we have read about Leah and Rachel in Gen. 29-31. Here is a basic recap (but I do recommend reading it, as the Lord says it much better than I can):
Jacob loved Rachel and worked 7 years to marry her, only to be tricked into marrying Leah her older sister. So he worked another 7 years to have Rachel too. So two sisters are married to the same guy, and he loves Rachel not Leah. Well Leah has several children, but Rachel was barren. Both of the sisters end up giving their servant women to Jacob to have kids thru them (anybody remember how great that worked out for Sarah and Hagar?). Eventually Rachel had a kid of her own (and later she had one more but not during this part of the story).
Here is the deal though: Leah was homely, unloved by her husband and miserable. Rachel was beautiful, loved by her husband, had a child and was miserable. One of them had everything and was miserable, the other one did not have what she wanted and she was miserable. What is the point?
"The point is that it doesn't matter if you have it all and get everything your heart desires, or if you're left wanting and unloved. Neither works. The two women had vastly different circumstances, yet both were left hungry. Why? Because God was not their ultimate thing."
3. She goes on to tell us that the way to really experience God is through obedience. Basically through a life that agrees with God, that tries to take Him at His word and live it out. A life that choses to believe God, if He says something is bad for us then we stay away, if He says something will be good for us then we do it.
Summary: For me the thing is too often i am my ultimate thing. I can try to blame it on media, friends, money etc... but in the end my problem is me. I make the choices, I get what I want, I focus on me. What I have to fight for daily, MOMENT BY MOMENT, is to put God where He belongs in my heart and mind and life- as the Ultimate thing. As the one in control, the one who calls the shots, the one who everything is for, the one I am trying to please simply because I love Him, the one who makes the rules.
Mr. Ultimate of Sabrina's heart, mind, soul, strength... it sounds so much easier when Jesus said this is the greatest commandment.... thought I had it in the bag.... think again!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
God is funny. Just the way He gets our attention often is very funny to me. Today, is one of those funny days. I am currently going thru a study called "No other gods" with some friends. I am also doing a 20 day devotional on stewardship that my pastor suggested we as a church do.
Well today the two overlapped. That's how God is funny. I know when He really wants me to get something bc He is repetitive with it. Everywhere I look I will see the same message or hear the same scripture. Does He do that to the rest of you?
Anyhow, today was about two separate things in these bible studies (lies we let rule us and contentment) but really the core of the issue came back to the same thing: media. I normally don't like when people go on big media rants. In fact i usually feel its quite legalistic and it makes me mad (i once got very very angry over a blog post about cable... you can ask me about it if you want). But today these lessons hit my heart like a ton of bricks. I needed to here this today.
So I sat down with my coffee, my bible and the studies and dove right in. In my "No other gods" study the day was titled "Behind every false god is a door we've left open" (true dat!). She immediately starts talking about how everything we read, watch, and listen to has a profound effect on us, but how too often we make these excuses: ' I don't agree with everything in this, but it has an overall good message', 'it's just so stupid it's funny', (or here is the one i use all too often) 'i can see the things in it that i know are wrong and i don't believe in, but i don't struggle with these things so its fine'. **From this moment on I knew it would be a painful morning**
Basically the study went on to look at scripture that calls us to avoid sinful behavior, much of which we see on tv or hear in our music. I am not going on a rant about what you need to cut out of your life- you can take that up with the Lord. And for me right now, what I watch and listen to wasn't the biggest problem today...
After I finished NOGS (no other gods) I went on to my stewardship devo. My pastor recently did a few week series on being good stewards and he recommended this devo which you can get for free from redeemer presbyterian. Anyhow, todays lesson was on contentment. Uh-oh.
He talked about how contentment is a means of trusting God, and to be discontent is to accuse God of being unloving (telling Him he doesn't care enough to provide this) or impotent (telling Him He isn't able to provide). But then He started talking about our culture and how we live in a culture of discontent. Amen we do! And here is the paragraph that struck me today:
"Sadly, we live in a culture of discontent. Everyday we see an average of 3,500 ads, each trying to convince us that what we have is not good enough. We need something new, something better, something more fashionable. Desires become hopes, which become wants, which become 'needs'. "I've just got to have that new HDTV wide-screen TV". Once the newness wears off, its time for a new toy."
For some of you, you are thinking "big deal sabrina". but for where I am in my life right now, this is such a clear description of what I am up against. THIS is my problem with media. with what i watch and read and look at. i am not at a point where watching silly dramas is making me struggle with my views on romance or morality (i have been there though and i am sure i will prob be back there someday). i am at a point though where materialism is attacking me from all sides.
and its annoying! who invented ads? i want to punch him in the face! stop telling me life would be better with a newer this or that! it will not be! and here is the deal. when i am at home with no tv on or radio blaring then i am typically a content little pea. what God has provided is an abundance of enough. i love my house, my husband, my animals, my stuff (maybe not my clothes... but anyhow). when the ads start going its like a trance. suddenly i find myself thinking, i wish we would be able to get that instead of what we have etc....
so here is my public renunciation of the ad guy: i curse you Mr. I-invented-the-promotional-ad! you are an instrument of the devil and i am sick of you!!! My God is enough. He is MORE than enough. He is able to meet all of my needs. He will provide everything I need, and somethings I dont need but might just want. Why? Because He delights in my joy! .... So back off dude!!!
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5
** if any of you work in advertising please do not take this offensively... i know there are good things about advertising too...