Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What do you think it looks like to be a "good" Christian?

I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and I loved this...

Here is what he said:

Most Christians have been taught in church or by their parents to set aside a daily time for prayer and Scripture reading. It's what we are supposed to do, as so for a long time it's what I valiantly attempted. When I didn't, I felt guilty.

Over time I realized that when we love God, we naturally run to Him - frequently and zealously. Jesus didn't command that we have a regular time with Him each day. Rather, He tells us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." He call this the "first and greatest commandment" (Matt. 22:37-38). The results are intimate prayer and study of His Word. Our motivation changes from guilt to love.

This is how God longs for us to respond to His extravagant, unending love: not with a cursory "quiet time" plagued by guilt, but with true love expressed through our lives.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Does Kate love Disney?

So as usual this is delayed a few weeks, but I am going to try to get you caught up. Justin had a Youth Pastor's Conference in Orlando (the begining of March.. that tells you how behind I am). I always give him a hard time that we never take a "real" vacation. {Our "vacations" usually consist of us going to one of our homes and I totally don't count that as a vacation.} So when he decided to go to the conference, he asked me if I would like to go with him and stay a few extra days so we can have a nice vacation this year. I of course agreed and was so excited!!

The first two days we were there, we attended Youth Pastor's Summit. It is put on by Student Leadership University and Universal Studios. We were CHALLENGED by awesome speakers which included Francis Chan and Darren Whitehead (my favorites). Mac Powell lead worship one session (which was completely AMAZING). We also had practical breakout sessions. If you are in youth ministry, I highly recommed this conference and anything that SLU is apart of. They do a great job. (You also get free tickets to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure). I am hoping/praying in these next couple of years, some leaders in our youth group will step up and that Justin will be able to take them to one of their leadership conferences.
My aunt and dad came over to Orlando and stayed with us. My dad went to the conference with us and my aunt watched Kate. {of course that didn't go exactly as planned because my aunt got this horrible stomach bug.. but thank goodness it only lasted a couple days... and she was able to watch Kate during the conference and while we went to Universal.}

I love Disney. Where I am from in Florida, Disney World is only about 1.5 hours from my home. We went all the time and my family (cousins, aunts & uncles, etc) still go all the time. I really wanted to take Kate to the Magic Kingdom and so did my dad, but we decided to wait until next year to actually take her into a park. It was going to just about kill me, so I had to give her a couple tates of Disney.

We took her to Disney's Wide World of Sports for her first MLB baseball game. My dad got us tickets (THANK YOU DAD!) and we went to see the Yankee/Braves. I think she is going to love baseball as much as her daddy (or at least love watching all the people). She had fun and wouldn't stop smiling {except of course when we were taking photos}.

On Wednesday night, we took her to a Cinderella dinner at the Grand Floridian. All the characters from Cinderella were there and it was so cute. (We also saw mom's dressed up as princesses.. which was very entertaining, but kind of sad.)

On Friday we took her to breakfast at the Polynesian (my favorite hotel). She had her first Mickey Pancakes and some Tonga Toast (my favorite). We took her into the store there and she picked out a little Mickey doll. She wouldn't let go of it. I talked Justin into getting it for her. (He let me know that we don't have to get her everything she wants and it is ok to let her cry. I told him that I understood, but I didn't want that day to be the day we taught her that lesson.)

We also road her around on the monorail. Here she is with her Mickey on the monorail.

Kate's final taste of Disney was at Downtown Disney. Justin took her on a little train ride. It was so cute! I was so happy that she seemed to enjoy everything. She smiled the whole time. (I actually think this is just a phase she is going through, but she convinced her Daddy that she loves Disney enough to plan a trip for next year.) I am so proud of her!! I can't wait for next year... her 2nd birthday is going to be awesome! {FYI - I am secretly dreading her first birthday... I am stressed out and overwhelmed.. want it to be "perfect" and don't know what I am doing!}

Sorry for the long post... but come on it is about Disney... the most "magical" place on earth!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What is wrong with me?

There is so much in my life that needs to change. Have you ever had times in your life where everything you hear, watch, read, etc. is on the same subject? Lately everything I have been listening to, reading, etc. has a theme... unselfish LOVE. Giving all of yourself, your time, and possessions.. ultimately to show the love of Jesus to other people. I want to tell you that I may be one of the most selfish people on this earth... so this is a difficult lesson for me and how I will purposefully live it out (or try to live it out.. I know I will fail many times).

Just to share what I have been exposed to.. here is a list of few things in the past two weeks. I hope these things are encouraging/challenging to you.

  • -Francis Chan - I heard him speak on what it really looks like to live like Jesus. To really imitate him and what he did here on this earth. Click Here to hear a sample of him. {The video is also attached below}
  • -Crazy Love (by Francis Chan) My husband read this book and told me to read it. Since I heard Francis Chan speak at a conference a couple weeks ago, I decided to start reading it. I am only on the second chapter, but it is so good!! I highly recommend it. Go to CrazyLoveBook.com to see the resources that go along with the book.
  • -Jeff Parrish - As if Francis Chan wasn't enough, Pastor Jeff at my home church is doing a series and last Sunday he spoke on "Who is Jesus?".... again with the same theme of living an unselfish life... like Jesus. If you want to hear it.. here is the LINK. {I changed my flight to stay here in FL for a few more days, and I am so excited to go to church this Sunday and hear the next message in this series.}
  • -Lea - Finally to culminate all of the bombardment of living like Jesus... an unselfish life... my friend Lea wrote the most amazing blog, "LOVE ONE" CLICK HERE. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ. It is so inspiring and challenging.

I wanted to share the passage that so clearly explains just how unselfish Jesus lived his life.

Philippians 2:5-8 (The Message)
5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.