18 August 2007

Intellectual Satisfaction

I'm reading a book that has taken me years to finally get around to reading. It's titled Discipline: The Glad Surrender, written by Elisabeth Elliot. It was given to me as a gift some years back, and I had one failed attempt at reading it through. How discouraging: a failed attempt to read a book about living a disciplined life! But I haven't let it get the better of me: I've been able to chunk away at some books that I would have otherwise been unable to read because I've been making use of the time that I nurse Rosalind. The 10-15 minute segments add up to about an hour a day, and before I realize it, I'm well into finishing, and reluctant to put it down! If you keep your eye on the book list at the left side of this page, you'll see a couple of titles that you'll understand are not the result of pleasure reading with the boys. It's those that I am most proud of accomplishing, since those have been read during Rosalind time.

All that to say that I came across this statement from the book by Mrs. Elliot, and thought it was worth sharing with others:
"The Bible does not explain everything necessary for our intellectual satisfaction, but it explains everything necessary for our obedience and hence for God's satisfaction."
Some people get hung up on those things in the Scriptures that they cannot understand or fathom. Or they might tend to not give any of it much deep thought or consideration because they don't consider themselves to be intellectual heavy-hitters. Others may even forgo studying and applying the truth of God's word to their lives, claiming "it's a mystery" as an excuse for intellectual slothfulness and moral indifference. So they either become inoculated to the gospel and believe that knowing is believing, or they dismiss the Bible altogether and live to please themselves and make up their own way. But what this quote suggests is that it is God's satisfaction that we are to be striving for, not our own. The Bible may seem unclear on some things, but it is very clear when it comes to everyday obedience, and that is what God is pleased with. "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:21-23

Just a thought for you to chew on. Your comments are always welcome!

13 August 2007

This Means War!

Every Friday we have "Family Fun Night." Sometimes we go somewhere, like creek walking or hiking or IKEA, but usually we stay home and play games. The first one ever, we played hide-n-seek in the dark, and it was fantastic. We also enjoy board games, but the kids are still a little young to play some of them, so we simplify the rules to make it fun. One such success is the game RISK. You know, the game of world domination and tiny army guys? The game that usually ends with everyone full of animosity and not speaking to one another? The boys were so intrigued by the little army guys, they persisted in wanting to play. I finally decided we would simplify: No board, just army guys and dice, and we take turns attacking one another until the last army standing wins. And the nice thing is, it isn't long and drawn out like the real game. We always have fun setting up at the beginning. This last time, I pulled out the camera to record the showdown.

Gray team: A.K.A "Smoke" Strategy: intimidate by looking sharp and keeping cool. I think Enoch enjoys setting up his army the most, honestly! Here's the look to challenge all the others.

Blue team: A.K.A "Water" Strategy: Tight and unified. It took a couple of tries to get a mean enough looking shot, since Tristan prefers to giggle.

Yellow team: A.K.A "Cheese" No, let's pick another: "Light" Strategy: Cut the cheese? No, divide and conquor! The mean look is fierce like Daddy's.

Red team: A.K.A "Fire"

What's the problem here? I think they took one look at this picture, and all started rolling over with laughter!

Strategy? Try to hold it together! At least my mean look is a little better...

And the winner is... The cheesiest: Yellow team. Way to go Julien!

07 August 2007

My Own Understanding

Sometimes the verses we know so well seem to jump out at us when we least expect it. I've had a lot on my mind lately, and the other day I turned on the Christian radio station and heard a snippet of a radio program in which the preacher was talking about Proverbs 3:5-6:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
The preacher was at that moment emphasizing the part about not leaning on our own understanding, and it was something I needed to hear. I was reminded of how I sometimes get so caught up in what I know and what I think I know that I become the kind of person who gets prideful and even a tad self-righteous concerning others who don't know what I know, you know? And then I become anxious or impatient or a bit lacking in the area of compassion and forbearance. But the Lord is good, and knows how to humble us and make our paths straight.

I hope that as you read my blog, you would constantly be directed to the Lord. Trust in Him with all your heart, not just the parts that you're comfortable with, but with all your heart. Not clinging onto or locking up those parts of your heart that you just don't want to let go of yet. Trust Him with all of your heart. And trust that your own understanding is only a partial picture; He sees in full, and knows in full. Even the hard facts that you know can be misinterpreted by your own understanding. Trust in Him. And acknowledge Him. Don't just say, "Yeah, I know You're here God," and continue to focus on the problem before you. A private in the military acknowledges a superior officer by standing at attention and saluting, which demonstrates respect and a willingness to readily obey the commands of the officer. He stands in silence waiting for orders. As long as the officer is in the private's presence, the private remains ready and at attention, unless commanded to be at ease. I don't tend to think of God in that way. Maybe I should more! I often used to (and sometimes still do) imagine that God is standing right behind me, with His hand lovingly and gently holding my shoulder, occasionally leaning into me to whisper His words into my ear. He is intimately acquainted with all my ways, it says in Psalm 139. As I listen to His words, He guides me in the way I should go.

Okay, that's all my preaching for now. I have a couple of incredible pictures of the garden from harvesting this morning. Today is very humid and the heat index is over 100. Thankfully our neighbors invited us over for a dip in the pool, which felt wonderful. I'm still waiting for good zucchini recipes. I'll have to start posting recipes as well!