Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Readings

Corrie ten Boom: Faith Amidst Fear by Sam Wellman
Just over 200 pages, this biography was very short. I liked reading about Corrie's life, and somehow it was comforting that, of all her sisters, she struggled the most with faith, forgiveness, and trusting God during the imprisonment and concentration camps. It was a reminder that I don't need to be perfect, I need to have an obedient and determined heart.

Discipled by Jesus by Hal and Debbie Perkins
The writing was not crafted, but that wasn't the intention of the authors. Although I wanted to read with a red editing pen in hand, I learned a lot about discipling questions, the importance of close relationships, and I am excited to use this both in a bible study setting and my classroom this fall. I recommend it not for how it was written, but for its message.

Books I did not finish:

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
I only read the first story in this book, and while it was written well and fairly enjoyable I simply had too much going on this month to finish it. I've returned it to the library, and it is doubtful (though possible) I'll get it again.

Common Sense Christian Living by Edith Schaeffer
I did read a good deal of this book, but I started in the middle and didn't feel compelled to finish the end or go back to the beginning. A lot of the book would probably be better titled, 'Common Sense Christian Motherhood'.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rubbing Off

Every couple of weeks I assessed the reading abilities of my Kindergarteners. I called individuals to my desk and had each one read a set of five words with various special sounds we have been learning. Towards the end of the year, I called a student to my desk and as he came near he shook his head and half-whispered, “I just really don’t want to do this.”
I looked at him, frowning to hide my amusement, and asked, “Hmm, is that a good attitude?”
His eyes widened and he responded right away, “No—that was the Old Me. The New Me doesn’t complain.” And he went on to read all five words.
I was astonished at his response. Sure, our memory verse for the week had been 2 Corinthians 5:17. And sure, I had been teaching them about the Old Self and the New Self, and about how Christians can only live the New Self through Jesus. But I had not believed they were actually picking up on it. It’s amazing what happens, what the kids pick up on, when they listen. And, sometimes more amazing, they listen a lot more often than I realize. And things were catching on.
The question is, what else is rubbing off on them?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I Had Set Myself Up.

I had been recognizing some snippy responses and selfish attitudes in myself, and I was ready to be done with them, so I prescribed myself more verses to meditate on, more time alone with God, more passages to study.

I couldn't have set myself up better for the next day's devotional reading if I had tried.
Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest says:
"Can a sinner be turned into a saint? Can a twisted life be made right? There is only one appropriate answer-- "O Lord God, You know" (Ezekiel 37:3). Never forge ahead with your religious common sense and say, "Oh, yes, with just a little more Bible reading, devotional time, and prayer, I see how it can be done. 
It is much easier to do something than to trust in God...We would much rather work for God than believe in Him. Do I really believe that God will do in me what I cannot do?"
I have gotten caught up with my actions rather than staying focused on my relationship with God. The next day's reading said:
"Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, "No, by nothing," but all of us are obsessed by something-- usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God."
Being obsessed by thoughts about God doesn't seem to be that different than being obsessed by God himself, but that is why it is more dangerous. Either way, we are doing a lot of the same things, but the intentions-- the heart-- are different. And God looks at the heart.