Friday, February 11, 2011


It's such a foreign concept to my mind. I love justice--for others and myself. I seek fairness. When I receive the consequences for my sin, I count it just. I hardly sympathize for the one who knowingly sins and receives his punishment. Not only consequences, but the way things ought to be. Chores have to be done, so if someone who doesn't have a job or school takes a heavier load around the house, I have to make a conscious effort to even notice, and so much more to thank them, because it just seems like that's what they're "supposed to do."

When I was a child, one of my favorite stories was "The Gingerbread Man," and the story is about a cookie who was baked for someone's grandchildren. The cookie tries to escape, but in the end, he allows the children to devour him because that's why he was made. The story lacked mercy for the gingerbread man, and since it was a childhood favorite for me, it only psychologically proves more of my "just" heart.

All of this to say, I also like to think we have a right to our own desires. In certain cases, I find an excuse for people to be selfish. If someone is in pain, they should be allowed to complain. If someone is getting married, they should be allowed to ignore other people for a while. If someone is grieving the loss of a loved one, they should be allowed. to run away by themselves as long as they desire.

Maybe all of those things are okay--limitedly. Jesus shows that even in those circumstances, we should have compassion on others. Matthew 14:6-14. It made me shiver. Jesus has just discovered that John the Baptist was beheaded to please a female dancer and Herod's party guests. So he "withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick."

Jesus just lost a beloved friend to the fate of another's sick pleasure. He wanted a little peaceful solitude, but when the large crowd followed behind, He didn't scream for them to go away. He felt pure, holy compassion for them, and from that compassion, He forgot about His want for solitude to heal His owl soul, and he turned around to heal their sick.

Lord, teach me to be this humble, sacrificial, and selfless. Teach me to love like You do. I love you, Lord.

~Anna, Beloved by her Maker

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"I'm sure God has much more important things to deal with, but it's nice to know Lindsay thinks she's got Him on her side."

In an AOL PopEater video, Rob Shuter talks about the court case of Lindsay Lohan where she is being charged of theft for a $2,500 necklace. According the video, Dina Lohan, Linday's mother, claims that "she's not worried about anything at all, because God has a big plan" for her daughter. Now, the validity of the story is questionable, but it's the last comment Shuter makes that has me in a sad mood. While playing a clip of Egypt in its current state, Shuter comments: "I'm sure God has much more important things to deal with, but it's nice to know Lindsay thinks she's got Him on her side." Yes, Egypt is in a particularly trying state at the moment. Yes, we should be encouraging them in their freedom. Yes, God is dealing with the situation. However, God loves each and every one of us, regardless of how popular we are, how sinful we are, how much has been said about us. God loves Lindsay Lohan just as much as He loves you and me and anyone else. Does God approve of Lindsay's current thievery and other decisions? No more than He approves of anyone else's (which is not at all). Certainly God isn't "letting her off the hook;" how much less is He encouraging her to do these things. But does God have more important things to deal with than her situation? Not any more than anyone else. The point is: God doesn't care about anything more than the people He created. Period.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Money! Money! Money!

"Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of feasting with strife. "
--Proverbs 17:1

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? "
--Matthew 6:24-25

"And Jesus looked at him and said, 'How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!'"
--Luke 18:24

I don't know about you guys, but money seems to be an unrelenting topic in my everyday life. I hear about it at work. I hear about it at school. I hear about it on the radio and on the television. I even hear about it in stray wisps of conversation that catch my ears from passersby. But, especially, I hear about it at home. Don't you? Everyone's worried. What are we going to do? How are we supposed to pay these bills? Does the graduation committee realize we don't have $300+ to spend on caps and gowns and pictures? Why can't the kids' school raise their own funds for that field trip? We can hardly afford to pay for our groceries! And then all the moms start a new coupon cutting club while the dads hide in their rooms, hoping their wives won't interrupt by barging in wanting help with the finances. It's crazy!

Then the teenagers keep asking for more stuff. They need money for food. They need money for clothes. They need money for their senior trips and missions trips and birthday parties and who knows what else. So the chatter continues. The worries increase. The bills pile up.

What now?

Breathe. Let God quiet you with His love; let Him rejoice over you with shouts of joy (1)! Accept the peace that is within you through His Spirit (2). He's just waiting for you to relax and trust in Him. Hand over your burdens (3). Set the bills aside for a while and pray; don't talk too much. Just listen to Him. Rest in Him (4). Once you're at peace, THEN pick up your bills, knowing that God will provide for all your needs. (5).

Money. Money. Money. "You don't understand! These bills won't just pay for themselves." You're right; they won't. So what? So what if the money doesn't come in until last second? So what if the money doesn't come in at all? You lose your job. So what? No income. You lose your grocery money. So what? You miss a few meals. You lose your house. So what? You're cold and maybe wet and maybe your kids are whining. what?

I realize these are all extremely trying situations, especially for Americans who are so used to the pampered life of electricity and microwavable meals, but you can survive without comfort. This life is temporary. In fact, it's like a vapor in the wind (6). God, on the other hand, is never-changing (7). He lives forever (8). And HE makes the judgment call on who gets to abide with Him in the end (9). So stop worrying. Trust in the Lord. Take comfort in knowing that you are just a sojourner in this life (10), and you are running the race (11) toward a forever lovely kingdom where the Bridegroom dwells (12)! You are beloved by God (13)!

(1)Zephaniah 3:17
(2)Galatians 5:22
(3)Matthew 11:28
(4)Psalm 46:10
(5)Psalm 68:10, Psalm 84:11
(6)James 4:14
(7)James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8
(8)Isaiah 40:28, Jeremiah 10:10
(9)Psalm 50:6, 75:7
(10)Leviticus 25:3, Psalm 39:12
(11)1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1
(12)Deuteronomy 4:39, John 4:12-13
(13)John 3:16