...feels like home...
"...there's something in your voice that makes my heart beat fast... hope this feeling lasts the rest of my life..."
We had ladies' Bible study tonight, and at the end Kathy gave us a copy of something Mrs.Phyllis uses a lot. It's originally from this little pamphlet thing called "Not I but Christ." It lists some characteristics of certain sins that identify a "self life" or one that is focused on "me" instead of Christ. Some of the sins are a secret sense of pride, love of human praise, the stirrings of anger or impatience, self-will, carnal fear, a jealous disposition, a dishonest or deceitful disposition, unbelief, and selfishness. Each one is accompanied by a brief description. As I read through them, I was reminded, NOT for the first time, of how personal or private or even hidden most of my sins are. Many of the descriptions on this sheet used the word "secret" or referred to these sins being "a spirit of..." That's me. People look at me and see a good person. I'm definitely not saying that I never do things that affect other people... that's certainly not the case. But MOST of the things I struggle with are not things that other people can see. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. It was just on my mind tonight. I think it's just the whole idea that it doesn't matter how good people may think we are, what really matters is what is in our heart. This all reminded me of a quote from Girl Meets God, a book I read this summer. The author, Lauren, is speaking of her experience as a Jew in this passage:
And on Yom Kippur, people pray, corporately, for God's forgiveness. Part of the Yom Kippur liturgy is a long confession, Vidui, a long list of sins committed: bribery, slandery, lust, gossip, insolence, envy, theft. Once, a Jewish man went to his rabbi and asked, "Why am I confessing all these sins? I didn't commit half of them. I haven't stolen anything or bribed anyone or told lies." The rabbi looked at the man and said, "If you understood the glory and grandeur of God, you would realize you had committed each of these sins, every day of your life.
I think that sums up the reality of it. No matter how good we think we are, or how good other people think we are, we are still completely detestable in comparison to the holiness of God. He is so completely perfect. We are COMPLETELY imperfect. Like Kathy said tonight, partial disobedience is total disobedience. There's no middle ground. God is perfect and we are sinners. Period. I have to remind myself of that. Sometimes I let Satan tell me that if other people don't see my sin, then I'm fine. If it's not affecting someone else, then I'm fine. That's SUCH a LIE! What is awesome though is that we, as Christians, are no longer defined as "sinners." God changed our name and now we are His. He has made us holy, which is a complete contradiction in logic to everything I just said. Such dichotomy! We, sinners, can now be seen as holy by the perfectly holy Creator. Simply amazing!
That's all I have to say about that for tonight. I'm not even sure where that all came from! I guess it's just what God was speaking to me. That's not even what our Bible study was about! Anyway, just thought I'd share.
I had an observation today at school. That's where my supervisor from Flagler comes to watch me teach a lesson and evaluates how I'm doing. This was my second one. My first one I really wasn't nervous about at all, and it went pretty well. This one, for whatever reason, I was kind of nervous about. It was a "bigger" lesson, so that may have been a factor, but I was nervous, none-the-less. Anyway, I taught the lesson, and it went well, although I'm never sure if other people feel the same way, so I was still a little apprehensive about hearing what my supervisor had to say. But she spoke with me after the lesson, and everything she said was just so encouraging. She complimented specific things about the lesson, as well as general things about me as a teacher, both of which were greatly appreciated. I was really put at ease by everything she said. What was cool was that some of the things she mentioned were things that I had consciously thought about and wondered if they were going well or if I was doing good enough, and she specifically pointed them out as things that were in fact going well. When that happens, I am very encouraged. It just seems like such confirmation that this is where I should be. So needless to say, it was a good morning.
There's a verse that God has frequently and consistently brought to my mind over the past three years. I won't say too much about it now, as this post is growing in length, but here it is.
"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12
This just reminds me that God knows the desires of our hearts, and He understands that our hearts are in pain when we have to wait for what we want. But the cool thing is that we get to experience such a huge blessing when the time comes for us to receive whatever it is that we are waiting for.
I think I'm speaking the first Thursday of October at Fusion. We're meeting at the beach pavilion that night. My current idea for the message is based on the song we sang as kids in church... "the wise man built his house upon the rock... and the rains came tumbling down." If it all works out, it should be a lot of fun and hopefully a simple message that people will remember and learn from.
So that's all for tonight. None of these thoughts are particularly connected in any way. That's how my brain was working today. Hope you enjoyed. Later.