I know this is a weird title but I have 3 things to share that have nothing to do with each other. My brother titles his e-mails this way sometimes. A random list of topics, makes others curious what you are talking about. So I decided to try it. Curious?
First I wanted to share these few recent pictures of Micah. They came out good and show how he is changing. He is 18 months now and went through a stage where he liked to wear hats. He was toddling around the kitchen one afternoon barefoot, with his winter hat on, holding this football. I grabbed my camera!
These next few pictures are a few of Olivia's art work. This one on top is the latest one she has been working on in her art class. They are learning how to use charcoal and deal with lighting and shading. She loves to use charcoal and has been experimenting with it outside of class too.
Don't almost all girls love horses?
Olivia likes to draw pictures of animals for friend's as gifts. This is the elephant she drew for a friend's birthday. She framed it and gave it to her. Her drawing has improved so much since she started art lessons. It's fun to watch and see so much progress with practice and training. She is entering an art contest for fun. We'll see if she wins?
I've been learning and process so much these past few weeks. Do you ever feel like God is showing you things. . . here . . . and there. . . but it's hard to figure out how they relate? My life is busy with a large household to run and I don't get large chunks of time to sit and think or even sit and talk to others about what going through my mind. It takes time to merge all these teachings, thoughts, and feelings into one subject. It must be a part of my personality that says I need to organize my thoughts. Otherwise they feel chaotic inside and I can't keep track of them! Whenever God turns the light on a subject and then another, there is usually a theme. I think I figured out the theme well enough to put something on paper! You guessed it. . . it's sacrifice.
Without writing too much and boring you with too many details, I'll try to get right to the point. What is the Christian life without sacrifice? Is there not a narrow road and a broad road that Christ speaks about in the Bible? The broad road leads to destruction but the narrow road to life! The size of the road signifies the difficulty of it. It's not easy to live on the narrow road for it involves sacrifices but this is where we find LIFE! The broad road might be easier but did you notice the end of it? Destruction.
This week a pastor came to Gospel for Asia's headquarters to visit. He flew in from California for a day and was asked to share with the staff. Maybe you know of him? Francis Chan is his name and he pastors a large church in Simi Valley. God really spoke through him. It was the kind of sharing that makes time fly too fast. You are soaking it up and before you know it, his hour is up and you are left wanting to hear more. Anyway, he shared about these two roads and it really got me thinking. He shared that sometimes he gets accused of being too radical. How can you be too radical for Jesus? Some Christians believe that there is another road, a middle road between the narrow and broad. You live a nice life, going to church and taking in all the benefits of being an American but no sacrificing is happening.
This caused me to think about my own life. God is asking me to sacrifice. I cringe when I think of that word and yet when I have the right perspective on it, it's music to my ears! There is LIFE in the very sacrifices made and that, my friend, is beautiful. What are the sacrifices that I'm referring to? Time, money, dreams. Right now I'm thinking through daily sacrifices. How I spend my time. My schedule is mine, right? Not really. If I'm going to walk in the good works that God has prepared beforehand for me (Eph. 2) then I need to be ready to change my plans.
I'm reading a book called Open Heart, Open Home by Karen Mains. It's about Biblical Hospitality. I'll end this with a quote from her book and then a prayer:
"What a sin it is that many Christians know so little about this broken world. They have isolated themselves from the starvation of nations, turned their backs on battered and abandoned babies. Little do they care that children grow without a gentle touch, that old men haunt park benches dying from loneliness rather than age. This world, to many believers, is one large, silent scream."
O God, help us to hear, to hear those cries without fear for ourselves, and with compassion for those who mourn. Help us to listen to those in need, without thought for our own material treasures. Help us to seek to be like Christ, upon whom was the Spirit of the Lord!