Saturday, September 20, 2014

Preaching Should Inspire Worship

via Jan Erik
I heard this quote recently and I've really been thinking about it. I've always had a hard time with going to a church service with a sermon...sometimes it feels like I could learn more or be more productive if I just studied the Bible on my own.

I realize the merits of "going to church" -- fellowship with other believers, corporate worship...but as for the actual sermon part...its hard. I often find that my mind wanders, I can't sit still, or I have to take detailed notes to pay attention -- and then it starts to just feel like another class or lecture.

So when I heard this quote, it really resonate with me -- sermons are not meant to stuff more information in my brain; sermons are meant to inspire worship. And because I'm listening with all the other believers and members in my church, we are worshipping together. We worship in song and then we worship in the goodness of God's word.

I'm starting to approach going to church with a different mindset -- one of worship rather than just learning. It's hard because I love to learn, but thats not the point. I want to glorify God and enjoy the stories of his faithfulness with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Stop Deflecting

I've noticed something about Christians, something about me...we like to deflect. When we read a passage that calls out sin, we point fingers --- that person, those people...

We rant about our society, the youth of America, the politicians...whatever...

What we don't like to do is look at ourselves -- and see the sin that is very real within in us. We like to ignore pride and point at drunkenness...

We are judgmental, envious, and lacking in love. We get angry and forget to hold our tongue. We are impatient, unthankful, and selfish.

So let's stop having double-standards. Let's see sin (in whatever form) for what it truly is ... ugliness, loneliness.... death. And let us extend the same grace to others that we so gladly accept ourselves.

By Amanda Sandlin

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Spending Time Thinking

It been quiet around here...I know. 

So here's the deal -- I'm about to enter into what is supposed to be the most stressful month of my graduate school experience - Prelims. Tomorrow I'm turning in a 7 page written research proposal that I've been working on for over a month  -- that's actually not too bad...writing is one of my strengths. 

But a month from tomorrow, I'll be presenting my preliminary data/research and research proposal in front of a committee where they'll be able to grill me on my research for 2 hours straight. And then, if they think I'm good enough...they'll let me continue pursing my Ph.D for the next 3 years. pressure or anything. 

So anyways I'm doing well now...but things are about to get "real" crazy around here. My number one priority will be maintaining my mental health. 

So yeah, other than that little detail -- things in life are good. Highlights -- Jordan and I finished painting the interior of our now maybe I can put something one the walls (I get decorating anxiety), we are running a half-marathon in a little less than a month, we just joined a volleyball league, our small group Bible study for the year just started up (and I am loving our new group -- wonderful, wonderful people), and I've been contemplating goals/etc for my post-prelim life..

Right now I've been thinking more about making it a priority to read more and watch less TV and perhaps doing some freelance science writing/editing on the side. So, we'll see where that goes. 

Pray for me as things get crazy! And if you have any advice/tips/secrets for stress-management I would love to hear them! 

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