July 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Dad!

Happy Birthday to my dad, not my father, my dad! He turned 53 Thursday! I think he had a good day! We got him a chain saw...he called and said thanks for the scissors. LOL He has been such a blessing to me. God has used him in my life in a tremendous way. I'll never forget my dad calling me on a Sunday during my first week of college and said "I looked out in church today and didn't see your smiling face, I teared up! I miss you!" Thank you God for giving me such a great example of what You are like!

It's a week of birthdays for our family...tomorrow (Saturday) is Shane's b'day so I am in full party mode! I decided to put one together last Sunday after church so I've been planning all week! It's SO much fun...I think! I'll post some pictures tomorrow!

July 26, 2007

Deflating the Puffed Up Church

No, this is not my own original title. It is the title of CJ Mahaney's message that he preached back in March. I tend to read his wife and daughter's blog, GirlTalk, and yesterday they had a very dear family in their church lose their young son. In this sermon he talked about this family. I decided to listen to the sermon and boy was I blessed and challenged. I encourage you to download it and hear his words, I pray it will unpuff you and challenge you to share it with your friends. Some major points that he made were:

#1) Grace produces humility and
#2) Grace prepares us for suffering.

One thing that he said really gripped my heart and just made me tear up because of my inadequacy in living this way. He said "The genuinely humble are not surprised when they suffer. Humility recognizes God’s sovereignty and trusts His goodness." He then said "When suffering comes, you don’t have to have all the answers. Being perplexed is a part of life. But what you do understand, understand fully: that God is sovereign and God is good." This latter quote made me smile because that is the one truth that we can cling to when we don't have all the answers. I pray that I will continue to see God's grace in my life and that I will call it and thank God for it. I pray that I will be humble and see suffering in a different light.

July 24, 2007

Happy Birthday to You!

23 years ago today my sister, Elizabeth Joy, came into my life! We have shared many memories, arguments, joys and sorrows together. I am so proud of the woman she is becoming. She has challenged me beyond what I could have imagined! Continue to stay strong, fight hard! I love you! Oh...and check out her blog if you have a minute!

When is Enough, Enough?

So I just got word that Miss Lindsay Lohan has been arrested AGAIN on DUI charges and possession of cocaine. She just turned 21 on July 2nd, which at that time she was in rehab for alcohol addiction. Can you tell me why she was able to get away with this? I'd also like to know, where is her mother? On top of this I heard that a movie of hers is about to come out and that she is preparing to be in another movie. Are you kidding me? So she is going to get rewarded for being arrested twice on a DUI...let's not even mention that she was probably driving last night on a suspended license. Am I missing something here? And then I hear this voice in my head, "Abby, why are you surprised? She is a sinner, what else do you expect from her?" And that voice is right; we can't expect anything but sin out of sinners.

Lord, please give me the patience and the diligence to pray for unbelievers, that they will come to know you, that you would draw them unto Yourself. Please help me to remember that they need exactly what I needed...a Savior. Lord, thank you for dying for me and for my sin! Please reveal yourself to Lindsay and to those around her, bring her to the end of herself so that she might finally look up and see her need for You! Please reveal yourself to Lindsay and to those around her, bring her to the end of herself so that she might finally look up and see her need for You.

July 19, 2007

90 Minutes in Heaven

I have a normal morning routine and it starts with being up by 6 am so that I can listen to my favorite radio talk show, The Rick and Bubba Show. This morning started out as usual and then around the 7:00 hour they had Don Piper (not John, Don) on the show. He is the New York Times Best Selling Author of 90 Minutes in Heaven. Basically, his story starts in 1989 when he was in a horrible car accident, an 18 wheeler ran over his car going about 110 mph, he was pronounced dead at the scene and the book is about what happened next. Evidently 90 minutes after he was pronounced dead he was brought back to life(not sure b/c I didn't hear that part). Anyway...his book talks about what heaven was like. As I was listening this morning at first I thought cool and then the more I listened I was sad. I do not remember the man ever once talking about God and Christ and seeing them. I tried thinking back over my 25 years of "going to church" and my 15 years of being a christian and what I remember is that we will be worshipping God and giving all glory to Him in heaven. I know we hear about our mansions and the pearly gates but I thought the whole purpose of heaven was to glorify God. I thought now how can someone be in Heaven for 1 minute, much less 90 minutes and not talk about the glory of God?!?! I have not read the book so it could be that he does give information on that...but why not mention the greatest part on a radio show? My hubby and I talked about this and both talked about how we feel like heaven is not done yet and how the ultimate judgment will have to happen before any of us enter heaven. I will obviously do more research on this issue but thought I was ask anyone who reads for their opinion...do you have one? If you do let me know what you think...

Also, while on the show he took questions from callers. One question in particular made me chuckle but then his response made me kind of sad. An elderly lady said how she just loved his book but she had a question for him..."I just lost one of my pets yesterday and I was wondering, did you see any animals in heaven?" This lady was absolutely serious, she wasn't be silly or funny, she sounded like she would actually be disappointed if her pets were not in heaven when she got there. I was sad about this because she is obviously missing the point of heaven. Don Piper said that he did not see animals in heaven but he was sure that they would be there, after all they were the last thing God made before he created humans (or something to that effect). I don't agree with this but can't really use my own words to back it up but if you wish you can read my pastor's idea about this topic by clicking here.