Speaking God’s Truth

‎2 Timothy 4:2-3 (New International Version)
2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

2 Timothy 4 (The Message)
1-2I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
3-5You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant
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I find myself really upset. You know that kind of upset where it goes all the way into my throat. I’m choking on my thoughts. I never pretend that I am all holy. More times than not, I fall short of the standard God has set for us. Does that mean that I shouldn’t speak the Word of God? Should I stand back and let people ostracize other Christian for speaking what is so clearly in the Bible? It infuriates me that we as Christian make other Christians feel bad about calling us to live to a higher standard – a standard that been set by God’s Word. It should always be done in love, but anytime I have seen anyone remotely suggest that we aren’t living the life Christ called us to, it always jump to, OOHHHH we aren’t supposed to judge. Yes, we are not to judge, but we are allowed to examine spiritual fruits. We don’t have to right to condemn people to Hell – God reserves that judgement for himself – only He knows who is truly GOOD or EVIL. But, we are as Christian allowed to “speak the truth in love” and let our fellow brethren know if they are going down a path that is unholy. Perhaps if many more of face our fears and let go of our need to be accepted and liked by everyone (and when I say we, I really mean myself), we would stand up PROUDLY and UNASHAMED of what the Bible proclaims. Not to say we should beat people over the head with God’s Word, but I find more often that not, we (really meaning I) want to be considered a “cool Christian” and will let thing slide under the radar that we really shouldn’t. I think that is why we have the decline in morals in our society because we have become afraid of proclaiming the truths of the Bible so now we just all sit in the luke warm pot of soothing everyone egos and making everyone feel like it’s okay to do whatever you want even when it contradicts the Bible. Let’s face it – we don’t want others hold us accountable to God’s standards because we might actually have to give up some of our own bad behaviors. It’s much easier to sit in the luke warm pot of nothing than to light the fire of God’s word under our behind and other’s for that matter. I’m not saying that we should start pointing out faults and saying I’m holier than you – because those of you that speak the truth in love, know that it’s really about love, not about making someone feel worthless or less than. When I feel God calling me to speak the truth in love, it brings me tears – it’s because I love that person so much and I have deep respect for that person. It’s nothing that is done in hate or maliciously.
So, why does this verse (above) strike a chord with me – because I believe whole heartily that there are many of us who just want to take the warm fuzzy parts of the Bible and disregard the parts we don’t like. Many of us “Christians” are soothing our egos and our sins by listening and believing “spiritual junk” because that is what our itching ears want to hear.
 
As I end this, I feel the Holy Spirit weighing heavily on my heart, because I know that I do things on a daily basis that I am not proud of, things that I know God wants me to give up. Hear me when I say, I am not perfect. I AM NOT PERFECT. But, I will not let my guilt, my shortcomings be Satan’s tool for not speaking God’s Truth or for twisting’s God Truth to suit my own selfish ego and needs.
1 Peter 1: 13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Fruits of our Labor

Today, we could no longer ignore our peach tree. We had to harvest some of the peaches before the tree broke under the weight of all the peaches – that may be a slight exaggeration but the tree was almost touching the ground.  The above picture are the box full of good peaches. Although we probably picked off a hundred peaches, there still seems to be a couple hundred or more left. I must say when I found out we had fruit trees in our back yard, I was pretty excited. Now I realize it is just a lot of work. It’s nice, but perhaps I would enjoy it more if I had more time to can the peaches, make peach cobbler, or give the tree proper attention. Kaylen really loves the peach tree. She had a ball “helping” me sort out the good from the bad peaches (her help was mixing up my piles!). We still had fun as a family harvesting some of the peaches. The best part was actually enjoying the fruits of labor by having some fresh peaches from our backyard! 

Jeff spotting Kaylen as she climbs to the top of the ladder

Jeff climbing ladder to pick some peaches

Picking a peach

Kaylen almost to the top of the ladder

Kaylen enjoying a peach

All the peaches we have left to harvest

Ryan – 20 Weeks

 

Ryan is now five months old. He’s smiling a lot now and making a lot more noises. He loves to get your attention and he will just smile at you and do some babbling. His legs are getting much stronger now and he can stand up on his legs (with assistance, of course). He seems to like being able to stretch them out. He can hold up his head for longer periods now and his back muscles are gaining strength. He does well sitting in his jumperoo – although he’s still not quite too sure what to do with all the toys.  I probably haven’t been as consistent as I am supposed to be in his tummy time, so he hasn’t roll over yet. He really doesn’t like being on his stomach and seems to dislike it more as time goes along, but I just let him hoot and holler for a little while. There hasn’t been any huge changes in the past month – the most noticeable is just how he is started to interact with us more by all of his smiles and all of the noises he likes to make. He has also started kicking his legs around when he gets excited or  happy. I love those little legs kicking about! It will be interesting to see how he progresses through the next month. I’m loving every minute of having Ryan. I love coming home and holding him and watching his smile go ear to ear when he recognizes it is mama talking to him. He has such a sweet smile. I let him give me slobbery kisses – though not intentional on his part – but I love them none the less. 🙂 His big sister just adores him as well. Today, we went out to eat after church, and I left Ryan in the booth so his dad could get him. I walked Kaylen past him and she started to get all frantic saying “baby, baby, baby” and pointing at Ryan. I had to tell her that we weren’t going to leave Ryan there as I chuckled along with the people in the booth next to us. How cute she is as his big sister! 

And yes, he is still a thumbsucker. I have given up on the battle of thumb-sucking for now... How precious he is though!

Seasons

Just a thought..

A while ago, I saw a posting talking about how seasons change in lives and friends come and go in your life for different reasons. I think that is just a bunch of bologna that we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better at the lost of a friend. I lost a friend who was once near and dear to my heart and I remember people saying that sometimes we are just friends with people to teach them something or they have something to teach us. I’m not buying into that. Yes, there are things that we learn from our friends, but I think true friends remain friends throughout the ages and seasons for that matter. A true friend knows when you have responsibilities pulling you elsewhere in your life so that may not be as availble as you once were. To say we are just friends with someone while one party or both parties are gaining something and then to call it quits when someone has decided they aren’t gaining anything is just a bunch of crap – that’s not a true friend. You know when you have a real friend on your hand when you can go a timespan without talking and know that friend still loves you the same and you can pick up like you never dropped off. Anyways.. just my two cent thought for this week.

Adding this 08/12/10 – After reflecting on this post for the past day. I realized why I was so bothered by the statements I read about being friends for just seasons. It was what my “dear” friend told me when I had to end our friendship. Yes, I ended the friendship. Some friendships must end and it’s not out of what is benfitting one or not. It wasn’t seasons changing that caused me to end the friendship, but it was me realizing that I was better than being used as a door mat when someone needed to wipe their feet.

Ryan’s 1st NICU Miracle Baby Reunion

Today, we got to go to Ryan’s NICU Miracle Baby Reunion. This was the 10th one that the hospital sponsored where Ryan was born. I was pretty impressed. They had ambulances and the life flight helicopter for the children and adults to take tours of. They had face painting, fake tattoos, crafts, and animal zoo room (had some animal skins and pictures). It was all very nice and they even provided a meal for everyone. Ryan isn’t old enough to appreciate all of the activities, but Kaylen had a good time in the animal zoo room petting all of the animal skins. Although she wasn’t much interested in the rest of the activities – She just wanted to run around a waterfall. She keep going to trees and grabbing them and saying, “UP, UP!” She was a little scared of all the painted faces of the other children. Hopefully, next year, she will think looking at helicopters and stuff like that will be just as interesting as trees.. lol. Jeff was kind enough to come with me and take care of Kaylen while I was able to take care of Ryan. I was a little disappointed she wasn’t more interested in all of the activities they had because they seemed pretty cool – but maybe next time! She did get a butterfly tattoo – which she just calls a “fly.” The best part of the whole Miracle Baby Reunion was visiting with some of Ryan’s nurses and with one of his NICU roommate and his mom. Those NICU nurses are really special. In this picture, this is Kasey, one of Ryan’s primary nurses while he was in NICU. I’m so glad we have continue our relationship outside of the NICU. The NICU is a very hard experience to go through and these nurses have the kindest and sweetest hearts. I do realize just how lucky we were with Ryan’s birth. This was a great opportunity to remember where Ryan’s life began and how we have been greatly blessed-from the friendships formed to the awesome staff for the Common Bonds Support Group putting this all together for us.  

Here’s a news article with some pictures of from the event: http://archive.deseretnews.com/article/700054597/Premature-babies-and-parents-reunite-with-hospital-staff-who-cared-for-them.html

Looking out at the waterfall - Kaylen and Jeff spent some time out here playing when coming to the hospital. At the event tonight all she wanted to do was run around this waterfall.

These were some of the animal skins Kaylen got to touch. Yes, they were from real animals.

Jeff and Kaylen touching one elephant tooth! It's pretty big!

Kaylen petting bear fur