Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lessons from Roseola


This past week has been less than fun. Abby has been genuinely sick for the first time, not just afflicted by food allergies. I have been playing nurse for 24/almost 7. Abby has run a fairly consistent high fever almost nonstop until yesterday, and she has been very emotionally fragile. Every moment of it has been heartbreaking to me. My "nursing self" knows logically that the full body rash she now has is a good sign that this virus is ending and that her body is fighting it off, but my "mommy self" hates seeing my child suffer- even on a minor level.

As I was holding Abby this morning and watching her fitfully try to fall asleep, I was saddened. God, in the quiet whisper He often uses in my heart, spoke to me about an area I have become quite shamefully hardened on. He pointed out that as much as it makes me sad to see Abby sick for a short time when I know she will get better- how much more grievous must it be for the moms all around the world right now who are watching their babies breathe their last breaths all because they did not have enough food, water, or basic medical care! The horrible thing about it is that in my heart I care more about "stuff" than preventing that from occurring. Just because I cannot see their faces, I rationalize why I am not the one who should be responsible for them. I excuse myself from caring, because I can distance myself from their pain and suffering in my air-conditioned home with every luxury dispensable.

At this point, you're probably convicted and finding plenty of excuses too.

It's true. Jesus tells us to care for the poor and to have radical abandonment to the Gospel. My Bible doesn't have excuses for people like us.

May we become selfless givers for global missions so that Jesus will be lifted high... so more moms get to keep their babies in their arms a little longer... so more babies get to grow up into adults who care about Jesus and love others too.

The bottomline is we will stand before Jesus one day and give an account of all we have or have not done for His name's sake.

33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:33-46

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why I Don't Want to Be a Dumb Primate


An excerpt from Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover"...

Eric Butterworth tells of an interesting system used to capture monkeys in the jungle. The captors use heavy glass bottles with long necks. Into each bottle they deposit some sweet-smelling nuts. The aroma of the nuts attracts a monkey to the bottle. When the monkey puts its hand into the bottle to get the nuts, the neck of the bottle is to small for its fist to come back out. The monkey can't take his hand out of the bottle without dropping the nuts, which he is unwilling to do. The bottles are too heavy to carry away, so the monkey becomes trapped by nothing more than greed. We may smile at these foolish monkeys, but how many times has our freedom been taken away by nothing more than our greed?

The answer- "Live like no one else so you can live like no one else."

“Do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Lately, God has been really dealing with me about the topic of money. Staying at home and learning to live off of one income (a fairly modest one at that) has been frugality boot camp for us as a family. No matter how much we have or will have one day- I want to be content with what I have, a faithful steward with what I am given, and I want to be a ridiculous giver for the glory of Jesus.

P.S. Our church is offering Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course this fall. We're offering two free previews within days. One on August 30- 5 p.m. The other on August 31- 6 p.m. Hope you can come- it'll be life-changing!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stages of Bliss


Abby sporting camo and sitting like a champ with her owl that Papa Allen gave her.

Life is moving so quickly now that Abby has enhanced our days. I blog quite a bit less now, because our busy bee is constantly on the go buzzing around our house in exploration of a new adventure. I'm still taking plenty of photos... quite honestly, I'm addicted to it. Here are a few to show some of our most recent moments in the Cirlot home.

Abby is pulling up incredibly well (almost walking) and has figured out that surprises are behind cabinet doors. Safety locks to be installed this weekend!




Oh the joys of learning to brush her teeth!










Constantly crawling and on the go...

Learning to eat "big people food" by herself.

Playing with her toys like crazy... so cute!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beautiful Diversity


If the idea of mixed marriages makes you cringe, maybe you should cut the book of Ruth out of your Bible. Ruth was a Moabitess, and Boaz was an Israelite... neither were two people of the same skin color or ethnic background. It was a divinely arranged love story that ends with a beautiful marriage... the kind that mirrors what will be one day between Jesus and the Church. An ethnically diverse Bride presented to a loving Groom.

Check out the sermon series on this book by Dr. David Platt. Incredible.

http://www.brookhills.org/media/series/love-story/

Friday, August 7, 2009

Suspense

So, according to our GI specialist's allergy plan for Abby, I was supposed to eat something with gluten in it this month. Afraid to do so, I almost didn't.

With Bryan's encouragement, I did. A glorious Ed's Chili Cheeseburger. A very worthy glutinous delight.

That was at a lunch- no reaction so far. NOTHING!

We can't believe it.

We KNOW it was not gluten free.

Eeek! Could this really be over?

To Be Continued...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Breath of Fresh Air


Money can really stress me out. Do we ever go without? Absolutely not. God has provided for us incredibly in every step of our ministry journey as a couple. From me making a terrific salary as a RN to being a thrifty stay-at-home pastor's wife, we have never lacked anything that was truly a need. In fact, God has blessed us so richly that many wants are satisfied as well. Even still, I have days where I feel financially overwhelmed (as I am sure you do too). I had one of those days yesterday- no reason really, I just did.

Then, last night, God provided a financial gift through an unexpected means to go towards Bryan's seminary tuition that is due at the end of this month. God is good. God is faithful.

I read this article today, and it was truly a breath of fresh air. What an incredible testimony! If you ever feel overwhelmed or trapped by money, I encourage you to read about this amazing family and our Sovereign God.

http://www.epm.org/artman2/publish/eternal_perspective_ministries/How_Did_Eternal_Perspective_Ministries_Begin.shtml
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