Friday, September 30, 2011

National Coffee Day....

...was yesterday. And I had a cup. Or two. And my love for coffee continues. If you need to be reminded why, click here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Enormous Credibility

A couple weeks ago we held "Christian Life Week" at college. Which was rounded out by a day completely dedicated to prayer. The guest speaker (Dr. Steve Bateman) gave a weekly series of messages that I found to be extremely challenging, encouraging, and just full of blunt truth. Because, lets face it, the truth normally comes quite bluntly.

He used a series of formulas to explain the big picture behind the messages. They went something like this:

Competence + Character = Credibility
Competence + Character + Suffering = Great Credibility
Competence + Character + Suffering + Endurance = Enormous Credibility

In other words: these are the components necessary to an enormous credible Christian life. And everything that Christ embodied.
"Competence is necessary for the Christian life but not sufficient. You must also have character." In other words, we have no excuse to not know God's word. We have no excuse to not become proficient in defending the faith and all the history that goes along with it. BUT, knowledge without character is empty. Knowledge without action can not take us very far. We need to check our words. Our actions.

Secondly, Dr. Steve talked about suffering. How it's a part of the Christian life. They go hand in hand. Regardless, we still serve a sovereign, good, strong, and benevolent God. "Do you think you would pray more if you had less trouble?" Dr. Steve pointed out that we hardly ever see what God is doing when we are in the middle of it. This is so true of my life. But, I love what he said next: "God is not going to waste any of your past sin. He is going to redeem it." Praise God.

Lastly, the idea of endurance. Following Jesus is our number one priority. Following Jesus is permanent. It costs. We are running the race. And endurance is key. Dr. Steve said this, "Your generation will be called on to portray more courage than any other generation in the history of the U.S."


Think about that. Let it sink in. It's a powerful statement. What does that look like?
Can we portray the kind of courage it is going to take if we don't excel in our competence? If we don't let the Holy Spirit develop a character in us that portrays the fruits of the spirit? Can we portray courage when we shrink back from suffering? Can courage take root when we choose not to endure?

What does the young generation of believers look like, right now, in our country? What does it say about the cross? Does it give us enormous credibility?

Monday, September 19, 2011

All things Pumpkin

The weather channel (and my husband) tell me that fall is coming to Michigan. And various, more northern, areas of the U.S.A. And while I am still unsure of fall's presence here in the 'ol south, I got a taste of it this past weekend.

Dare I say, I was actually cold at one point this week. Mostly because it dropped down to 60 degrees with absolutely no notice. And my body officially believes that 80 degrees is now "cool". I am trying to convince it otherwise. But, the revolt continues.

So, in an attempt to bring fall to the south I am participating in all things pumpkin. I admit, this might be getting out of hand. But, was there ever a symbol that represents fall like the pumpkin? I think not. So, as the camp out for fall continues...I shall be drinking these as I slowly convince the south that fall is really a good idea. One pumpkin at a time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dear Michigan....

I felt it was important to let you know how I really feel about you. You know, make it public, for the world to see. If that sounds a little too "far reaching": it probably is. But, some people will know how I truly feel about you. If I am honest, and I sure am trying to be, I have not always loved you. I know, I am sure that hurts. After all, you were the piece of this vast country that held all my memories and contained my childhood adventures and became the stage for every meaningful moment that I've had. Yes, after all, you have been a loyal land. A loyal back drop to my little life.

I can't remember the first time that I realized that I really cared about you. That I really cared about your boarders surrounded by miles and miles and miles of fresh water. Or that I really did love the way you shouted God's handiwork. Was there ever such a lovely state? I mean, look at you with your ample trees and towering dunes of sand (who has that?!) and your fields of harvest. And that isn't all! You display the four seasons in such a grand way. Variety is the spice of life. And who doesn't need piles of white stuff to remind them of the grace of summer?

I should have recognized the lovely people you house within your boarders. Some of the loviest there are. Nestled within your quaint towns. I should have remembered that each one holds a specific memory. And I like specifics. I must say, missing you is tough.

The truth is, my mitten friend, I haven't given you enough credit. There are those who say things about your economy. Alright, I'll admit it, I got in on those rumors as well. And I have been known to get irritated with how much you love winter. But, our differences aside, I owe you an apology. Because, truth is, I am smitten with the mitten. There is no other place in the world that I could honestly call "home". Really, I mean that. I hope you will except my sentiments as late as they are. It just took some time for me to see it.
Until we meet again, save some fall for me!
Sincerely,
A.M.J


Monday, September 5, 2011

Welllll.....

Our weekend has consisted of a bored laziness that only happens when one uproots themselves from everything they once new and relocates to a "foreign land."
Ironically, I feel as if I might as well be across the ocean at this point. There is something about unfamiliarity that renders one quite helpless.
So, with that pitiful picture in your mind, I am going to sabotage this post and list some things that I am missing right now. So deep to my core that it actually aches. Cheers.
1. Cool weather. I am so tired of the 90s. This week is a FULL week of the 80s and it feels like Christmas.

2. Fall. Where is it? Does it come down here? I just want to see one colored leaf. And a pumpkin. And some tea. And this could go on....

3. Birds. Apparently, they really do migrate. Kitty and I are having withdrawals.

4. Michigan drivers. Never thought I would ever say that. But, if you tried my route on for size you would understand.



Friday, September 2, 2011

Interviews and Jobs

Hello friends.
This week has flown by. At a speed that I could not clock. Even if I wanted to. The theme for this week: jobs.
I officially started my job at the college. And I am smitten. I feel so thankful that God has opened up this door for us. Specifically, I am encouraged by the people I get to work with every day. They are, in a word, "super".

Lastly, I received a call for another interview (which took place today)in a completely different "field". One of my other passions: fashion.
So, here's to jobs with lovely people. And job interviews based around lovely clothes.
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