Monday, October 21, 2013

Make a List Monday for 10-21-13

Do you remember the song Count Your Blessings?
"When upon life’s billow’s you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
Today for Make a List Monday, we are counting our blessings. Make a list of every blessing you encounter today, then share your list with others. Ask them how they have been blessed.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Inactive Ingredients

What is the purpose of inactive ingredients? The FDA description of an inactive ingredient is any component of a drug product other than the active ingredient. Well, that’s helpful. I found two other descriptions: 1) inactive ingredients are substances that are not intended to treat symptoms of a health condition including colors, flavors, preservatives, and materials that bind a pill together; and 2) inactive ingredients are used to take the active ingredient to a site in the body where it will be most effective.
       This last definition gives more purpose. Inactive ingredients can be used to control how, where, and when certain medicines are released in the body to achieve maximum benefit. So while they are considered inactive, they are still active. Others are only used for flavoring and color, but sometimes these inactive ingredients are more dangerous than the active. 
       I am allergic to a red dye called carmine. I can’t take certain medications because they are colored with this inactive ingredient. It’s not an allergy to the active, but the inactive. If I take a medication containing carmine, I have an anaphylactic reaction. Most pharmacies and doctors are concerned with drug allergies, but they don’t focus on the inactive ingredient allergies. I have to be aware and take on this responsibility for myself.
       We all have inactive ingredients in our lives. Some are useful and some are only for show. The active ingredient in our life is Jesus Christ. He is manifested in our lives by the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This active ingredient brings healing to a world sick with sin. The inactive ingredients would be gifts that we develop to carry this message of faith.
       We are also each unique with our own set of other inactive ingredients. I see a tendency to become more concerned with the inactive, which causes us to hinder the working of the active.
       Are you overly concerned with the inactive ingredients in the family of God? Maybe it’s time to read our labels and determine which inactive ingredients are just for show and which ones actually carry the message of Christ where it needs to go. Maybe it’s time to be aware and take on the responsibility for our own inactive ingredients and not those of others.
       Which inactive ingredients in your life help spread the gospel, and which ones hinder it?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's Not About the Nail

                You may have seen the recent YouTube video entitled It’s Not About the Nail. I love this clip. It illustrates one of many relational differences between most men and women. Men want to fix things. Women want to share about things. It’s not always about the problem. Sometimes it’s just about how the problem makes us feel. We don’t necessarily want the problem fixed, at least not yet -- not until we are through sharing how it affects us.
                I wonder if, as women, we are sometimes like this with God. He has the solutions to our problems, but sometimes we just want to talk about the problem. And you know what? With God, that is okay. Not only does He want to fix our problem, He also wants to hear how we feel and share in our pains and frustrations. He wants to fix the problem, but He also wants to heal our hearts and minds.
                As humans, we also have a sin problem. There is an answer to our problem. Many people want to debate it, discuss it, add to it, take away from it, share it, refute it, etc. When all is said and done, our sin problem is still there. The answer is the cross. Jesus died on the cross as the final sacrifice for our sin. He rose again bringing us salvation.
                So, it might not be about the nail, but it is about the cross.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Make a List Monday

It’s Monday again. Time to make a list. Today we are making a list of the most influential people in our lives. Think back as far as you can remember and make a list of those that influenced you the most.
                You might even want to send them a thank you note, text, email, or post thanking them for their influence in your life. Suggestions are your parents, siblings, pastor, teachers, coaches, friends, employers, and even your children. Who else has made a difference in your life?
                My mom passed away last Monday, and this reminded me of the influence she had in my life. The hope that I have in Christ, my relationship with Him, and my knowledge of God’s Word are all in part due to my mom.
                Time to make your list. Above all else, pray for those on your list today.
                “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy” (Philippians 1:3-4).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In Memory of My Mom

This is an excerpt from what I wrote for my mom’s memorial service today.
                Today, I am thankful. I am thankful for my mother’s life.  I am thankful for her 32,420 days.
                She met my dad on a blind date when he was stationed in California while in the Navy during WWII. My oldest sister, Carolyn, was born there while my dad was overseas. After the war, they moved back to my dad’s home in Arkansas where my two middle sisters, Tricia and Eileen, were born. My dad worked for Sears for 30 years which brought them to Texas, where I was born. After 4 girls, they gave up on a boy and named me after my dad, Don. My sisters tell me my mom wanted to name me Donnie Sue. Thankfully they convinced her otherwise, and she settled on Donna Jean.
                I am thankful for the Christian home that my mom and my dad provided for all of us.
                I am thankful that when I accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age, she took me to meet with our pastor to be sure I understood, so that today I can stand on that rock of assurance.
                I am thankful for the memory of my mom reading her Bible every night before she went to sleep.
                I am thankful for my mom’s gift of service and hospitality. From inviting church visitors to our home for Sunday lunch to caring for the elderly in her church when some might have said she was elderly herself, she served. I am thankful for the example she set in providing for the needs of others.
                My mom would ask each of her doctors if they were a Christian. My sister told us about mom’s first visit to a new cardiologist. She asked him if he was a Christian, and he told her, no, he was Jewish. Her comment was, “Oh, you’re still waiting.”
                I am thankful that after 88 years, my mom was still a sweet, innocent woman with a childlike faith, despite the world we live in. If you think living in this world makes it impossible to retain a sweet innocence and love, then you never met my mom. While there were times I believed she needed to see the world more for what it was, the truth is -- I probably need more of her sweet innocence, outlook, and childlike faith in my life.
                I would be remiss if I didn’t also let you know there was a certain stubborn streak that she had that she passed on to each of her daughters (as I’m sure each of our husbands can attest). While some may consider stubbornness to be a weakness, it is a great strength when directed toward our faith and stand for Jesus Christ as evident in my mom’s life.
                I am thankful today for the picture I have of her in my mind. I picture her with an intense look of concentration on her face as she plays her violin in heaven.  Then I see a smile spread across her face as the angels sing along.
                I am thankful for my mom. I am thankful for the assurance that I will see my mom again.
                Psalm 31:24 says, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”  Our hope today as a family is in the Lord, and a great deal of the credit for that is our mom.
                Thank you, God, for giving me my mom.
                Thank you, mom, for being my mom.
                I love you.