Active Faith

God has been directing my Bible study time to the book of Colossians, especially chapter 3.
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

The word 'set' really jumps out at me lately. Faith and obedience are active. We don't grow as Christians taking a passive stance towards our faith. God's word is our spiritual food and He wants us to obey Him. Obeying His word is like the wise man building his house on the rock. (Luke 6:47)

In Colossians chapter 3 there are many commands - set your hearts..Set your minds... Put to death.....rid yourselves ....Do not lie...clothe yourselves...Bear with each other...forgive one another...put on love...Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...be thankful...Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly...teach and admonish...singing to God with gratitude...whatever you do, ... do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks.....submit yourselves...love your wives...do not be harsh...Children, obey your parents...do not embitter...obey...work at it with all your heart...

As I read and re-read and study Colossians I am thankful that God helps me grow in His grace and wisdom. Sanctification is a life-long-active-faith journey. It is not achieved in my own power but in "relationship with the Abba of Jesus, who is infinitely compassionate with my brokenness and at the same time an awesome, incomprehensible, and unwieldy Mystery." (Brennan Manning).

This hymn sums up my prayer for each of my kids, my husband, and myself.......

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.
(Kate Wilkinson, 1913)

Love and Respect

Kurt and I recently attended a marriage conference hosted by our mission organization with the "Love and Respect" video series of talks by Emerson and Sarah Eggerich.


The room full of couples at the Love and Respect conference.
The counselor with our mission organization moderated the event.
Kurt and I are in the front left hand side of this picture!

If you ever have a chance to attend one of their conferences or see the DVD series, I strongly recommend it. Kurt and I both really enjoyed the series.

excerpt from an article by Emerson Eggerich from their website
http://loveandrespect.com/blog/not-wrong-just-different/

"Not Wrong - Just Different!

....Friends, a wife needs to feel loved for who she is. A husband needs to feel respected for who he is.

A husband has two choices. He can either condemn his wife for her pink lenses, or he can appreciate God's design of her pink outlook. And, I might add, if he seeks to see through her pink lenses, she tends to engage him on his blue perspective. If he is sensitive to her need for love, he can appeal to her to soften her disrespectful reactions.

A wife can either judge her husband's blue lenses as stupid, or thank God for His design of this man. Too, if she seeks to see through his blue lenses, he tends to respond to her pink perspective. If she is aware of his maleness, she can appeal to him to be tenderer in his reactions.

Who is right and who is wrong? A husband is right when needing to feel respected. He is wrong when reacting in unloving ways.

A wife is right when needing to feel loved. She is wrong when reacting in disrespectful ways.

A beautiful discovery a couple can make is this: my spouse is not wrong, just different. Pink is not wrong for being pink. She is simply different from blue. Blue is not wrong for being blue. He is simply different from pink."

Reading

Some of you may know that Ben has struggled with reading. He'd been erroneously diagnosed with dyslexia by an educational psychologist here but when we had him retested in Manila, it did not prove to be an accurate diagnosis. He does have some educational challenges but dyslexia is not one of them!

This year it seems like a light bulb has gone on and he is reading well now! He recently was one of the top three readers for the month of January in his class! His teacher rewarded him and the other two top readers by taking them to McDonald's on Friday after school!

Reader Ben with his Optimus Prime transformer mask on!

Thanks for praying for him and our whole family! We appreciate the prayers! Thanks!

Clothes Drying during a rainy week

While many parts of the US and Canada are dealing with daghan (much) snow and cold weather.....

we too, recently had a week or so of unusually 'cool' weather. By Michigan standards it would be spring weather....but for us expats and Filipinos used to the high 80's - 90's, the recent week of rainy, 70ish weather was 'cold'!


We needed to hang laundry up in the house with fans blowing
on it to get our clothing dried!

The plants on our veranda flourished during the rain and coolness!


Aren't the flowers here beautiful? God is SO creative!!!

Today, as I blog, the sun has come out and it is about 81 degrees!


James enjoyed watching extra Barney episodes on DVD during
the rainier weather!

Different Perspective

I love handing the camera to Kirsten and seeing what photos we end up with. She comes up with many unique perspectives on our home and life around here. I could put in a plethora of photos from her, but I wanted to share just this one.

For some reason, this photo reminds me of a quote from Brennan Manning:
"If we maintain the open-mindedness of children, we challenge fixed ideas and established structures, including our own. We listen to people in other denominations and religions. We don't find demons in those with whom we disagree. We don't cozy up to people who mouth our jargon. If we are open, we rarely
resort to either-or: either creation or evolution, liberty or law, sacred or secular, Beethoven or Madonna. We focus on both-and, fully aware that God's truth cannot be imprisoned in a small definition. "