So, I want to start blogging more about things I'm praying for and things I'm thankful for. Bob's sermon Sunday was about the praise we should bring to God in response to the answer to our prayers of intercession and petition. I was convicted that I am often like the 9 lepers who neglected to return to Christ to thank Him for healing them. I want to be like that one leper who humbly came to give thanks.
There's a cool blog I like to look at occasionally that features some amazingly beautiful photography and a woman's artful record of her blessings in life. I don't think my blog will ever be so beautifully creative, but this is my inspiration: A Holy Experience. If I wrote a really good blog and put all my time and creativity into it, this is what I would want it to be like.
So if I were to list my gifts from God recently, the list would be very long, but here are some highlights:
1. So many people have cried tears of joy over my recovery and final blog post about cancer. It’s a lot of love and attention, and I guess the Lord wanted to pour it out on me in His grace.
2. We’re doing more songs I love in Worship Team — we’re about to learn “From the Inside Out” by Hillsongs.
3. I get to go to a Fall Tea on Saturday with my sister-in-law, her mother, my 5-year-old niece, and a good friend I never see anymore! Plus, I love tea food!
4. I turned in grades yesterday with almost no complications! Having fewer assignments makes it less controversial with the students — they are less quick to complain about “errors” — I had one, but it was cleared up in 5 seconds.
5. I am sticking closely with my lesson plans for 10th grade. We are busting through stories and are almost done with our novel. It is enjoyable to see a plan in action.
6. I have a fall break of 2 days off coming up! Thank the Lord for the Jewish people!
7. I get to see my sister-in-law and brother and their boys soon! I had a great skype conversation with the 5-year-old last week. So fun!
8. I have been making more efforts to be human and to love people. I fail a lot and every time I turn around, there is someone I have neglected, but I don’t feel overwhelmed and defeated. I just feel challenged.
9. I am still keeping up a reading schedule — I need to be more careful about staying on top of the amount of it, but I am still doing part of it each day, and it is a blessing. I am reading Isaiah and really enjoying it. The Lord mixes in His prophecies of judgment with His prophecies of eternal life and blessing. It is a reminder that time is short for Him — seems long to us, but for Him, it is all coming soon.
Well, there are many more not listed, but this is a start. May we all look excitedly and expectantly at what gifts the Lord may bring this day!
One cool thing about composting is seeing the natural materials of the world that God made to naturally recycle themselves (well, the bacteria do the recycling, really). I've always appreciated nature and natural materials, believing them to be more beautiful than man-made. Now I'm drawn to greater worship of our creator as I see a small window into how intricately He designed the natural world. Also I compare the man-made items to the more natural items and am more amazed. Plastic, for example. What a strange material! Doesn't seem to break down easily ("forever in a landfill") and may even "poison" our food if you freeze it or heat it. Plastic also doesn't look cool when weathered like wood or stones or glass does. Anyway, just some cool thoughts about the Lord over compost.
I read some amazing statistics on an interesting blog post by Justin Taylor: From Mark Noll's latest book, The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith:
- This past Sunday it is possible that more Christian believers attended church in China than in all of so-called "Christian Europe." Yet in 1970 there were no legally functioning churches in all of China; only in 1971 did the communist regime allow for one Protestant and one Roman Catholic Church to hold public worship services, and this was mostly a concession to visiting Europeans and African students from Tanzania and Zambia.
- This past Sunday more Anglicans attended church in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda than did Anglicans in Britain and Canada and Episcopalians in the United States combined--and the number of Anglicans in church in Nigeria was several times the umber in those other African countries.
- This past Sunday more Presbyterians were at church in Ghana than in Scotland, and more were in congregations of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa than in the United States.
- This past Sunday the churches with the largest attendance in England and France had mostly black congregations. About half of the churchgoers in London were African or African-Caribbean. Today, the largest Christian congregation in Europe is in Kiev, and it is pastored by a Nigerian of Pentecostal background.
- This past week in Great Britain, at least fifteen thousand Christian foreign missionaries were hard at work evangelizing the locals. most of these missionaries are from Africa and Asia. [pp. 20-21]
Wow, kind of mind blowing. Why has Europe and America turned away from truth so strongly and compromised to the point of religious apathy? Is it our wealth? Our freedom? Our distractions of leisure and media? Is it our high level of education that puffs us up? Anyway, I find it fascinating.
So just attempted and succeeded to embed a YouTube link of a funny, quirky cooking video that I stumbled upon in my blog reading. I thought it was creative and funny, thus worth sharing. It reminded me of Wes Anderson or Nacho Libre -- it also reminded me of my funny friends and their sense of humor. I wonder if vlogging will become as big as regular blogging or Twitter some day?
I found it! Snow Bowling. I used to waste time at work playing this fun game before games were outlawed by our server. But here it is for all of your pleasure. Just click on my title and enjoy bowling over those pesky skaters.