Members Only

I know a lot of people who are Christians, but don’t belong to a church. They’re tired of the church, they don’t like pastors, they can watch on television from the comfort of their bed/couch/chair…I’ve heard it all. And I’ve said some of it before.

My pastor did a series on this in Bible study and said that while man has an idea of what church is it is quite different from what God established the church to be.

God’s Idea 

*Church is a spiritual necessity

*Interdependence is valued

*Spirituality takes place in community

*Active involvement in social concerns

*Authentic behavior with public and private lives matching

Man’s Idea

*Church is an optional activity

*Our individualism is valued

*Religion is a private matter

*Segregation

*Hypocricy

Today, I read the following devotional:

“Yesterday, while teaching Bible Study it dawned on me that our membership in a local church is significant. I never thought that membership was an option, but I now see that it is necessary for us to live out our Christian lives. Let’s first understand that the Church universal and the Church local is the Body of Christ. For you to say you love Jesus but cannot stand His Church does not make sense and is an insult to Him. I am aware that pastors, church leaders, and church members have hurt many, and on that note, maybe you have been hurt by me. I am pleading with you to forgive me, every other pastor, church leader, and church member who has ever hurt or disappointed you. Today, pray and ask God to lead you to a pastor and church that you are to join and commit/recommit your life to a local fellowship.”

 

Do you know of people that won’t join a church for one reason or another? Are you that person? Why haven’t you affiliated yourself with a local body of believers? Thoughts? Comments?

 

 

 

Seven Whole Days…Times Three

It’s that time again – time for our church’s annual Daniel fast and this year I am ready!  I’ve done this fast four times previously – successfully three times and not so successfully last year.  My spirit wasn’t right and the fast was a big bust.  This year I have prayed in advance for a successful fast.  In addition to what we are fasting for as a church, I am fasting because I want to see clearly what God’s purpose for my life is.  I’m sad that at almost 40, I don’t know.  I am also trusting God for improved relationships with my brother.  And his wife.

Beginning Sunday, January 8 and ending Sunday, January 29 I am only going to consume fruits, vegetables, beans, brown rice, water, and 100% fruit and/or vegetable juice.  I’m also not listening to any secular music during the three week period.  This is what I’ve been led to do, different people in our congregation will fast from different things and some won’t fast at all.

This weekend I’ll be stocking up on a bunch of fruits and veggies with an eye toward making vegetable soup, smothered cabbage, and succotash for this week’s meals.  I really am looking forward to this time of denying my flesh so that my relationship with God  can flourish.

And though I’m not fasting to lose weight, there’s no way I won’t end this month weighing less than I did when then month began.  Maintenance is a whole ‘nother story….

Have a marvelous weekend – see you on the other side!

 

Sunrise musings

It is Sunday.  I’ve been awake since 4:30, out of bed since 5.

I am abundantly blessed.

I woke up chilly and went over to the thermostat and crunk the heat up a few notches.  Millions of people don’t have that option and have to suffer through extreme temperatures every day.

My fast starts today.  Instead of complaining about what I won’t be consuming for the next 21 days, I concentrated on the variety of foods I had available to me in my refrigerator, cabinets and pantry.  They are are full and the contents ready to be utilized.  I don’t have to forage or scrounge for anything.  If I don’t have what I “feel” like eating, I am able to purchase what I want.

I looked at my sleeping child.  She has never known hunger, extreme pain or wanted for the necessities of life.  She is healthy, happy and whole.  I am reminded of what a blessing this is every time I see a sick child in the halls of the hospital.  But for the grace of God…

I looked at my sleeping husband.  He is a blessing to Lovegirl and I.  He works hard to take care of us.  He is loving and kind.  I’ve never had to wonder if he’s coming home to us.  He makes sure that I take some time out for myself every weekend.  He gets me.

I walked around our home.  It is not a mansion, it won’t win any decor awards.  Or cleanliness awards for that matter.  But it is ours.  And we are blessed to have it.  My study is filled with pictures of people who love me and that I love.  So many people don’t have that.

When I get ready to go to church in a few hours, I’ll get in my raggedy (paid for!!) truck and zip on over to church.  I am blessed to live in a country where I can worship my God without fear of persecution.  Other people in this country will worship as they see fit and some will not worship at all.  Freedom is a marvelous thing.

This week I am going to concentrate on being thankful for what I have.  To see the blessings that surround me on a daily basis.  To banish the spirit of ungratefulness.

The Lord is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works.

Psalm 145:9

Numbers, Nerd Girl Style

25 gazillion – The number of times I wanted to kick my own ass for walking off and leaving my purse on the counter at K.ohls.  Where it was promptly stolen.

79 gazillion – The number of times I thanked God that all they did was buy $31 worth of gas!

6 – The number of dollars it takes to replace one’s driver’s license.

4 - The number of women who weren’t wearing bras at the DMV.  Waaaaay TMI!

2 - The number of times I re-read an issue of R.eal S.imple I had in the backseat of the car while waiting  for them to call my number @ the DMv.

0 – The number of places willing to take those bogus a$@ temporary checks the bank issued me yesterday.  I was just trying to buy a new wallet . . .

 7 – The number of charms on my charm bracelet.  Which was in my purse.  Which I probably will never get back.  This saddens me beyond belief.

3 - The number of immediate positives of this situation.  I get a chance to start over with a balanced checkbook, I get to buy a new purse and wallet, I get to buy new lipglosses!

12ish - The number of times my Mama said “girl, I told you to stop carrying those little bitty purses!  You need something with some weight so you’ll know when it isn’t there.”

100ish – The number of times my Mama asked me if I was sure I didn’t need any money to make it through to pay day.  (Thanks Ma, but I don’t carry my whole check around in my purse!  Heck, they may have gotten 65 cents.   Nerd Girl doesn’t do cash!)

Any numbers you’d like to share? 

Have yourself a great weekend!  If I can get my allergies under control, Lovegirl and I will be at the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday – if you’re in town – join us!!

Details

Mmmkay . . .

Y’all know I work(ed!) for one of the world’s craziest bosses.  I have been praying for – and applying for – jobs since my 90 day probationary period was over – two years ago.  Interviews, no offers – for two years.  “Thanks for your interest, but . . . “

My pastor has been preaching on faith something serious lately AND telling us to live our lives with joy.

When I came back to work after the holidays, I typed up my letter of resignation – filled in all the details with the exception of the date.  I started compiling  a “how to” manual for whoever gets this position next.  I started acting like  I had a new job even though I didn’t have a prospect.

Lady called me, asked me to apply for a job.  That was last week.  Went back for a second interview with the department head yesterday.  Got the offer today.  Immediately said yes!  And then realized I didn’t even know how much the job pays.  More than my current one, thank you God.  Not enough to push us into a new tax bracket, but a raise is a raise, and I got one!

So . . . I will be the Education Administrator – working with residents and interns, keeping them on track – in the Surgery Department.  They don’t have a problem with my going to school, are willing to work with me on flex time, will sign off on educational leave AND they like their jobs.

I am blessed.

Hold On . . . a Change Is Coming

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, perhaps you’ve picked up on the fact that I am NOT happy with my job.  I am grateful to have one, but that’s about it.  The only thing that was making my gig slightly palatable was the fact that I was going to go back to school (for free, courtesy of the job) and get my PhD in Epidemiology.  Then, due to low enrollment/graduation rates and a departmental upheaval of sorts, the PhD program was cancelled.  So, here I’ve been.  Working as a secretary, royally pissed about it, applying for job after job, with no relief in sight.

I prayed that God would please send me something.  I couldn’t/didn’t get any more specific than that.  At this point, I didn’t even know what to ask for.

Today, I got to work and there is a new degree program scrolling through the announcements on the hospital’s splashpage – a Master’s – in Higher Education Administration, Student Services!  I am so psyched.  I was looking at the PhD in Higher Ed a while back, but couldn’t figure out how to do it since it’s in Oxford – nearly 3 hours away.  So yep – I whooped when I saw the info this morning.  I’ve called, talked to the program’s director, found out that the program is a combination of online courses and video courses that’ll be broadcast locally. AND if the program is successful, they’re considering offering the PhD in Higher Ed Admin online in a few years.

Looks like Nerd Girl is headed back to the hallowed halls of higher learning y’all.

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!

 

Hallelujah!

Sometimes I have issues with my faith.  Specifically lack thereof.  I’ll get down and think that God is working on everyone’s behalf but mine.  That I am already so richly blessed, I should not dare ask for “more.”

When I said I was going to China, my brilliant plan was to use the “free” economic stimulus check to fund most of my trip.  All I was going to have to save was airfare to CA and spending money. 

Well, we did our taxes, and we owed.  Between what we owed the state, and what we owed the feds, we owed the exact amount of the stimulus check. 

I started feeling guilty, saying that I wouldn’t have agreed to the trip if I’d known I was going to be using “hard earned money” to go – the money could be better spent paying down bills, in Lovegirl’s savings account, etc.  Told Smoochy that I didn’t really want to use much of “our” money to go, and that I wasn’t going to worry about it – if it was meant for me to go, a way would be worked out, and if not, I’d ask the travel folks to credit my brother’s account with my non-refundable deposit if possible.

On Friday, I went to the mailbox.  Between a refund check from K.ohl’s that I’d forgotten about, a check from an old credit union account, one from the orthopedists Lovegirl saw early last year, and an overpayment of our escrow account – I have more than half of what I need.

He’s working in my favor.