"We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 1:3

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Our call to relate in truth and love

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1-2  And we know “the word” is Jesus Christ from verse 14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Now, I’m not even going to pretend to fully comprehend all of this – but I am going to offer you my reflections on the fact that these verses clearly state that “in the beginning” there was a relationship. I am amazed to realize that before us humans were even a thought – God the Father and Jesus Christ, the word were together – in relationship with one another.

This whole universe we live in began with one perfect relationship. Can you even imagine what it would be like to be in a “perfect” or sinless relationship??? In a song I have just been introduced to by Phil Wickham (whom I strongly recommend – it’s kind of alternative Christian music – I like it!) His song “Eden” is about human yearning for a perfect relationship with God – wanting to be in Eden with God before the fall – it paints such a beautiful picture of the simple joys of life without sin:

“When the first light brightened the dark
Before the breaking of the human heart
There was You and there was me
Innocence was all I knew
'Cause all I had to know was You
We were running underneath the trees

I wanna see you face to face
Where being in your arms is the permanent state
I want it like it was back then
I wanna be in Eden

I remember how You'd call my name
And I would meet You at the garden gate
How the glory of Your love would shine
And I remember when the stars were young
You breathed life into my lungs
Oh I never felt so alive”

It’s so awesome to think about being in that perfect relationship with someone – and even more with our maker! And – He wants that relationship with us now – it’s just a lot harder with sin in the world. I’ve said this before – but I believe the whole point of our existence is to learn to be in relationship with God.

So, it ALL started with one simple and perfect relationship- and today it is still ALL about relationships. There is so much for us to learn from reading the Bible about the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son – and there is so much for us to learn from relationships we are in today. From reading the Bible, we know that we are called to center our lives, actions, and words around God’s truth. So, let’s take that truth – with a lot of love – into our relationships today!

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:15-16

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today, my “special friends” class created the most amazing fall tree! We made leaves any and every way imaginable:

We did texture rubbings, and water color paints,

We cut and colored on construction paper, we even cut up our finger paintings from last week!

How beautiful our tree was when we put it all together in the hall! While “filling” our tree – I reflected on the change of seasons this Fall - as well as the changes of "seasons" in life.  And - isn't the change refreshing?  How cool is it that God “has made all things beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)  But, I am beginning to realize just how quickly the seasons change!  With the seasons speeding up - I’ve realized how mindful I need to be of what I am filling my seasons, days, hours, and minutes with.

Are we just filling our days on Earth with things that will pass the time – things that will just get us through to the next thing? Or – are we making each moment count – and really savoring the good parts? Living in a fallen world – full of suffering and sin – it takes a very conscience effort to focus on the good, and just like Mary, “treasure up all these things, pondering them in (our) heart.” – Luke 2:19

As each leaf was taped to the wall today – I tried to make a conscious and intentional decision about where it would go – how would it relate to the tree, which other branches would come in contact with it. And, I began to pray to be this mindful, this intentional with my everyday decisions -- so that my “tree” will not just have some leaves – but become full of leaves that are, by God’s grace, perfect and beautiful in time.

And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. – Genesis 1:11

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Through all my adjusting back to being in the states – there have been plenty of “highs” and “lows.” The past few weeks have been “highs” in the assimilation process!

Last week, we celebrated Veteran’s Day at our school. The kids invited all their veterans to come out to be honored. It was the sweetest most touching thing ever. Not a dry eye in the house! The choir sang beautifully patriotic and military songs – ending with one where they sang “Thank you” to the veterans attending.

Each student and veteran was called out and walked out to the front of the assembly to give their veteran a medal! It was so precious – and it made me proud to be in America, so thankful for our country, for my community and for my school.
And – now it’s time for Thanksgiving - celebrating cultures colliding in America by spending time with family and friends. Last night, at dinner with my Ghanaian family – I was able to share with them what Thanksgiving was all about. Pretty cool.
So, I praise God for the “highs” in life – for times where we realize our blessings and are content living right inside His will. For we know that we are “filled to be emptied again, the seed I’ve received I will sow.” (Hillsong, Dessert Song) Yes, God blesses so that we can in turn be a blessing.
I hope and pray that this will bless your life – and you will go forward and bless someone else’s life today!

Monday, November 8, 2010

By His Grace

How would the World look if we were able to see it as God does? At church yesterday, one line of a song hit me: “By your grace I see.” God sees us through the blood of Jesus – cleansed, covered, and repaired from our sin. God sees us as perfect according to His good purposes.

What would that even look like? Are we capable of seeing the world through God’s grace? What about seeing ourselves through God’s grace? I have an easier time looking for good in other people – but seeing myself through God’s grace – a gift that I have absolutely not earned – is more difficult for me.

In Psalms 139, David writes:

“Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.


You search out my path and my lying down
And are acquainted with all of my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,
Behold, oh Lord, you know it altogether.”

Yes, God has searched us. Yes, God knows us – He knows the good and the bad. With the good – He rejoices. The bad He covers, forgives and redeems, and I praise Him for that.

Today, I am challenged to try to see myself and the World around me through God’s grace; not perfect, but perfect according to God’s good and perfect plan.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ghanaians on the Farm!!!!

I invited my Ghanaian family out to our farm this week.  It was so much fun! They had never touched a horse, 

or a pool, or...

Eaten spaghetti!  "Auntie Lauren, how do we eat it?!"  We had to practice twirling our forks to successfully eat the noodles - and they had sauce ALL over them by the end of dinner!

Thank you Jesus for this precious little piece of Ghana in Auburn, Al!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Yea, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) We KNOW God is working through and in all things – but how incredibly awesome is it when you have those moments of reflection – and can so clearly see how God has moved?!?! I mean seriously – how did I even get to travel to Africa last year?

The truth to that is – it all began with a chance encounter at a Publix!

Yes, God used Publix for His good purpose!  My aunt says that in God’s economy - nothing goes to waste. How true that is! God is in the oil pastels,

and crayons and paints in my classroom – allowing my kids to be creative.

God is in all the football stadiums (War Eagle!)

and baseball fields – because He is in ALL THINGS. He created all things for His divine purposes – I love the way the Bible phrases it – God FILLS all things: He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. Ephesians 4:10

And it's it amazing to realize that we fulfill Him???? That's right, the Bible says it is us, His followers, who are His “fullness.” "And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." – Ephesians 1:22-23

God has planned and created ALL THINGS for a purpose – including (and probably especially!) US! “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth?” – Jeremiah 23:24
I checked older posts - It's cool to look back and remember other times this has been so evident in my life:)http://inspiredbythecreator.blogspot.com/2010/02/in-all-things.html