im thankful for all of my buddies at CSU because they have shared in the countdown til graduation. i am ready just to have that season behind me. At the time of this post it is 18 days, 9 hours, and 52 minutes.
Archive for November, 2008
a friend of mine sent me this prayer… im so blessed…
“Father, I thank you for my sister Tam and just for her heart for you Lord. It is so encouraging to see her press into you no matter the situation. You are Lord in her life in good times and in bad God and she has given you complete access into her heart. Lord, I thank you for that and I just ask that you would continue to expose her heart. Father, bring the sin in her life to the forefront of her mind and sight so that she may grow deeper in You and more of the woman you have made her to be. I know that it is hard to reconcile relationships Father, but I pray that you would be her reconciler. Jesus that you would mend all of her relationships that are broken especially the one with her dad. I know that there are so many hurts in her relationships Lord, but I pray that you would be her Healer and that you would allow her to find her identity solely in you Jesus. She is such a beautifully strong woman with a great future ahead of her and I pray that you would use that strength not only in the future, but also right now where she is. Help her to live every breath, every moment with you and just looking at the opportunites that you have for her right now. Use her as a light on that campus that shines so brightly into the darkness Jesus! I pray that you would guide her every step and thought and that they would all bring you Glory and honor, for this is what we were made to do! Take her deeper in you and never let her go. Thank you Father. I love you. Amen”
Can you believe that in just 35 short days we will be back to the season that carries multiple meanings? That’s right…Christmas is ALMOST here. Ahhhh! I love me some Christmas season with the music, lights, Christmas tree with decorations, and sweets! I have been listening to Christmas music since Halloween! Most people thing I am crazy, but as you’ll see below — it simply directs my thoughts and hopes towards LIFE! The Life that I am promised through the baby Jesus that was born in the lowly manger. This time of year might mean a couple of different things to you…
1. The end of the year is here! That means you’ve survived, or hopefully impacted the world for another year! What did you do over the past 12 months that made a difference? Or what should you have done?
2. School is out for a month! For those of you college students who are desperate for a break from academics. You might be thankful for Christmas because you want a study break! Do you really think you deserve a break?
3. You’re ready to unwrap some gifts! What did you put on your Christmas Wish-List this year? I’m not going to lie – I do make a Wish-List ever Christmas. I don’t expect to get any or all of the things on it, because its not really what this time means to me. Is it fun? Oh yea! Does it make you all warm and fuzzy on the inside when someone special gives you something? Of course!
4. The True Meaning of the Season is JESUS CHRIST was born.
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
I love this story for so many obvious reasons, but I also love to sing about this event in history.
Silent night, holy night
Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing alleluia;
Christ the Savior, is born!
Christ the Savior, is born!
Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
Or how about… O Holy Night…
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O holy night, O night divine.
or what about…What Child Is This?…
What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
So this season as you reflect on the past 12 months of your life I pray that you find yourself coming back to an understanding (possibly) or a deeper appreciation for the ‘reason for the season.’
Over the past 5 years I have been running from a responsibility and a calling! After much prayer and help from my mentor, I began to open my heart and mind to what mentoring some one else might look like. Still to this day, I fight the battle of the mind (and the Devil) that show me all of the reasons why I am NOT capable and competent to lead and mentor people. What keeps me focused so that I don’t give up? What has been the turning point to embrace it instead of denying?
I believe it is crucial to know what mentoring really means. I believe that the reason I ran for so long was because of my ignorance of what it really was. The International Mission Board defines Mentoring as a form of teaching that includes walking alongside the person you are teaching and inviting him or her to learn from your example.
As I have learned more about who I am and what I have to offer then I have been more passionate to helping people discover who they are and what they have to offer. I have come to realize that most people need to see to believe therefore they learn from an example. So, I try to keeping to be the example for those who are watching me. How I handle situations, respond to circumstances, and actions I take when no one is watching are just a few examples. most of it is based on character and then gifting/talents.
The other thing I have learned as I have been embracing the call and responsibility is that it is a life long process. Just like our salvation and righteousness come through sanctification. It is a journey! This definitely makes the call a little more difficult, but that’s another area in which the Lord will test our obedience. Tim Elmore, founder of Growing Leaders, wrote a book called lifeGiving Mentors that share more about what, who, why and how to mentoring. He says that everyone can be a mentor if they have learned something from the Lord and they are willing to share it with someone else with the intent for them to develop and grow. Elmore says that mentoring at simplicity is seeing the potential of someone and running with it…providing resources, encouragement and lastly, empowering them to develop/grow into their potential.
One thing I always remember Jon Davis telling me is that you should always have a Paul, a Timothy and a Barnabas in your life. Paul is a personality that serves as your mentor, discipler, or leader! Timothy is someone that you’re pouring into and mentoring. And Barnabas is someone that is on the same page and level of Spiritual maturity as you that you can live life with. He was known as an encourager. I do have one of each of these roles in my life…my challenge to you is that you would identify those three roles in your life.
So tonight I am sitting in the hotel room while up at the SCBC in Columbia. I have been seeking topic suggestions from some of the students who tend to glance at my blog from time to time. So tonight with the circumstances at CSU and being on its THIRD lockdown of the semester…one thing that might seem a little far fetched is that the Lord is near!
Many times I feel like all I can actually offer to people is that I will lift up a prayer to God for them. This is deeply rooted though because many times I sit and try to hear from the Lord, but I wonder if the Lord can even hear me. I don’t always feel like the Lord is near to me. It is easy to think that your prayers and petitions are NOT IMPORTANT to the Lord, but the reality is the complete opposite.
There is nothing too big or too small for the Lord. He tells us in Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” I find comfort in this. Even though we do not realize or feel the Lord is near to us, the Bible tells us (or warns us) to seek Him and call on him NOW because He is already near. He is near before we ever utter His name. Is that not unreal to you? The character of God is revealed to us through our prayer life.
With everything going on in today’s society, it does not take much for someone to quickly throw their hands up and throw in the towel so to speak. We wonder where the Lord is and how He could possibly see a reason to put us through tough and trying times. Where is His provision, right? What if we took into consideration the way that the Lord works, always from his overflow of His holy and perfect character, then we would not doubt his existence. If we could get past that then we would realize that the Lord is sitting, standing, running very near to us right now and as soon as we call upon Him we receive His presence in our life. When and if we could catch on to the fact that the He is near to us then it would transform our mindset of WHO God is. The main set back and limitation involved is our ability to allow our minds and hearts to DOUBT all because things don’t meet our expectations.
Expectations – that’s a whole other blog entry.
Robbie Seay Band sings a song called Hallelujah, God is Near. I found the lyrics so I posted them below:
God’s resplendent glory full
On display for all to see
God creator, God of hope
Beautiful redeeming Grace
Healer of the broken down
Of the orphans and oppressed
Find Him with the poor
Find Him here surrounding
Hallelujah God is near
Hallelujah God is near
From oceans depth to cedar trees
Fields of wheat along the plains
Praise to God from all the earth
Praise Him from the mountaintops
His radiance is greater than
Anything on earth and sky
Stars and moon will guard the night
Shinning to the God on high
Let true love break out in praise
Let it dance and praise His name
All creation to sing
Hallelujah to the king
We love, oh, we love
We sing, oh, we sing to You
We shout Hallelujah
We shout Hallelujah
So I went through Facebook chat tonight and asked some people to give me some topics to explore. Here are some of the responses:
petunias, penguins, and socks…
Rachel wanted to hear about petunias. Let’s me look something up…Ok! I am back with some good stuff about petunias. Petunias are highly popular annual that is the primary choice because of their low-maintenance demands. They come in the following colors: the deep, rich purples and violet’s are superb; the light pinks are dainty; the whites are showy; the striped sorts are fantastic; the giant doubles are marvels of the breeder’s art; the frilled sorts are popular. Petunias prefer full sunlight, but will bloom in partial shade. They will thrive in rather dry soil if this is well enriched, and also upon soil either too rich or too poor for most annuals, if the moisture conditions are right. Thus one may see that the Petunia is most adaptable. This reminds me of leadership. We have to be willing to be low-maintenance because we’re to be self-feeders instead of waiting on others to help us out every time we turn around. Just like the soil with the nutrients and lack of moisture is still ok. As Christians leaders we have to learn to be resilient. The other thing that stood out is they hybrid coloring.
Well, my third grade teach was obsessed with Penguins and to this day still collects penguin stuff. I like the movie HAPPY FEET and the lil guy on there was awesome. So apparently – they are over played in the kids movies. They take to humans quicker than any other species. They live in the cold regions of the world. They’re kinda cute.
So I found this pretty cool fact sheet done by some students at Ohio State University. Check it out here. Did you know that picking out a pair of socks is not as simple as it appears to be. Next time you’re in Wal-mart or JC Penny check out the sock section. According to Smith and Pitts, there is a chemistry behind socks, more than simply a quality and/or appearance. First, you have the fiber contents…Commonly used fibers include cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester, olefin, and spandex Second, the construction of the fibers…most socks are knited together. There is a difference between stockinettes and a rib stitch. Look carefully at socks for loose threads, broken yarns, or holes that could start to run or ravel with wear. Thirdly, few socks are put through a finishing process, however this a part of the process…A common finish for socks is one that resists the buildup of odor and bacteria. The feet are among the three areas of the body that contain large sweat glands (the other two are the armpits and the palms of the hands). Fourth, the uses for socks for men and women…For men, four major types of socks exist—dress, casual, sport and work. For women, usually for casual or sports activities.
Bet you never thought about that! Its what keeps some people in business and holding on to a job. Unfortunately, for people like us in the great state of SC or even Florida, we tend to look at socks secondarily because we sport the flops and crocs year-round.
by Chelsea Taylor and Tam Odom
Many people who have received mercy have said that it is a great thing. For most, Not getting something you deserve is a blessing. Mercy and Grace are two principles that distinguish Christians from other religions. Other gods do not exemplify mercy on the people who follow them; they do not show grace out of unconditional love for them.
In today’s culture, mercy and Grace are easily confused. Mercy is when you don’t get something you do deserve. For example, not having to face the consequences such as a spanking, when you deserve one. Grace is receiving something that you do not deserve. For instance, you get a toy even though you just told your little sister to shut up. Mercy and Grace have two very different qualities that reveal the character of God.
In Ephesians 2:4-9 it says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” These verses are saying that no matter how many times human beings mess up, God will always have mercy on us and we will be shown grace. Mercy is an important trait because it is always needed to reach forgiveness and forgiveness of our sins is what God is all about. We come to need forgiveness because we have wronged someone or vice versa.
Mercy is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: 1) compassion or forbearance shown to an offender or subject; clemency or kindness extended to someone instead of strictness or severity; 2) a blessing regarded as an act of divine favor or compassion; 3) relief of distress; compassion shown to victims of misfortune. These ideas are correct when aligned with the Bible, but it lacks one important piece to the picture. The missing piece of the picture is that the reason we receive mercy, or grace, is because we have been shown love by our God. As human beings we can also show mercy to other people because we have received it. This is part of the learning process of Christianity. Webster’s definition reminds me of the golden rule found in the Bible, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Everyone needs mercy. We all need it so that we can be restored from our sins back to a righteous standing with God.