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Archive for July, 2006

So, I found this verse last night that spoke to me so profoundly I had to share my thoughts.

“Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.” – Philippians 1:14.

This was Paul speaking to the Church in Philippi while he was in prison. He could easily have become discouraged, but instead, the way he handled such a horrible situation gave other Christians more courage to share their faith. How many times do we show God’s love even through the tough times? And not only show His love ourselves, but encourage others to as well.

I may be stepping out on a limb here, but I think there’s more to this verse. It says the Christians were encouraged because of his chains…not just by the way he handled the situation, but because of the situation. They were encouraged by the fact that Paul was in prison and not ashamed to be there.

So, how could this aspect apply to us? Although we don’t have actual chains, we have many other problems…family issues, depression, etc. I’m not saying we should be encouraged by our problems, but, we can be encouraged by the fact that every person on earth has problems and we are not alone. How many of us have fallen victim to the when-you’re-at-Church-eveything-is-perfect mentality? I know I have. We are too afraid to admit our problems because someone might get a bad opinion of us. But, let’s face it, everything is not perfect, and we shouldn’t pretend it is. Instead of trying to hide our problems, we should embrace them and use them to encourage others. That doesn’t mean admitting them to the whole world, but we can be honest and say, “I know what you’re going through; it’s going to be okay.” How much of a better witness would we be if we did that?

I’m sorry if I got to preachy; that was not my intention at all. The fact is, I’m talking to myself as much as anyone. Please give me your thoughts and don’t be afraid to tell me if you think I’m totally off my rocker!! I’m up for discussion!

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Musings on the Last Month

I can hear the gasps of surprise…yes, I’m actually updating!!

So much has happened in the last month it would impossible to tell you everything without making this post at least two pages. So, I’ll spare you and pick the highlights.

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day; I did. We went to Barnes and Nobles, the Salem Fair, and a movie. Actually, my parents went to the movie while I prepared a lesson in the lobby. I had to teach for CEF Clubs the next day and did not have enough time to prepare and do everything we wanted; I could go to either the movie or the fireworks that evening. I chose the fireworks. So, I sat in the lobby preparing and ended up talking to one of the staff about what I was doing! It was interesting, and the theater definitely takes the cake as the weirdest place I’ve ever prepared a lesson!

So, in the end, my lesson turned out okay and Clubs were amazing…they always are! It was a very long week with six Clubs a day from 9 to 5. But it was all worth it because three girls accepted Christ! It was especially rewarding for me because I got to counsel them personally, which I’d never done before (not that way at least). Thanks to everyone who prayed for my team…you were definitely heard!

Last week, my sister returned home from her travels and brought her best friend (my pseudo-sister) Buffy with her. Buffy has an almost three-year-old son (Isaac, who of course came along) and is pregnant with her second child, due in October. Well, to make a long story short, we had to take her to the hospital at 2:30 in the morning. Turns out it was false labor, but it gave us all a fright.

On the college front, I visited Radford and like it a lot. I still like Villa Julie better, but Radford is a good choice as well, and it’s a lot more affordable, so it looks like I’ll end up there. The Teacher’s Resource Center is incredible, and they have good accessibility, which is always a concern. I didn’t get to go in the dorms, which makes me rather nervous, but….

Anyway, that’s my month in a nutshell (it’s actually a lot shorter than I thought it was. It looks different when you post it.). Next time I’ll tell you about the incredible book I’m reading.

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