Maturity

Currently, my youngest sits at the kitchen sink with tears in his eyes because he has to wash about 12 dishes that are in the sink.

I ask him why he's crying. "I don't like to wash dishes" he says dejectedly. Being the ever so patient mom I am at moments (please hear the sarcasm in that statement), I say, "well, we all have chores to do in life we don't like to do so just get it done" and walk away.

Soon I hear water running, rattle of dishes and know he's doing his job.

We all have maturity issues. We all balk at learning new skills, growing. Sometimes we just want to play and not be responsible. I'd be irresponsible as a mom if I didn't push my children to take on new responsibilities.

Spiritual maturity is achieved that same way, with Christ pushing us through His Word, through the Holy Spirit, to become more like Him. It requires us to reorder our priorities, to change from doing what pleases our self to doing what pleases God.Perseverance, consistent time with Christ in His Word, prayer; all spiritual disciplines to be developed.

It's an ongoing process - filled with grace, mercy, coaching, forgiveness, failures, restarts...but all leading toward growth.

Philippians 3:12-14 instructs us to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of us. We need to strain, shed tears, fall down, get back up, keep our eyes on Him...press on in Him to obtain the prize for "which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Like Paul, let us each press on toward deeper love and obedience to our Abba God in Christ, pursuing Him first in all our ways. Even in washing dishes!

Hosea 6:3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."

Locks Of Love

Kirsten recently changed her hairstyle in a drastic way.


The extra hair was sent to Locks of Love!

As she prepares for her senior year of high school, explores college options, etc., the hair style change is just one symbol of changing and transition in life. She looks beautiful in her short hairdo!

Star Fruit

Our new rental has a Star Fruit tree in the front yard. The fruit tastes a bit like a mix of crisp apple and sweet grapes. It's good!

Star fruit

It's also known as Carabola.

It is a native of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

James in the branches of the Star fruit tree.

Another fruit we recently picked up at the market for the first time is called spondias - also known as the Spanish plum. It's a bit like eating an apple in texture and taste. Lamay kaayo! ("very good!")

Sins and Grace

Recently in the USA gay marriage was legalized for all 50 states by the US Supreme court.
I have to say from the other side of the world I was appalled by the "hate speak" I heard from "Christians" judgementally condemning the LGBT culture. This is no way to evangelize.
Christ, while here on earth and now, was and is all about relationship. He was friends with the sinners and tax collectors. I sometimes envision Him in a bar shooting pool or whatever they did in the bars back then. The point is He wasn't judging, He was wooing the lost to Him with love.
He tells us not to judge. He certainly didn't.

And He died for ALL because He loves us ALL - and we all have sins - for some it may be sex outside God-sanctioned bounds, for others it's gluttony, laziness, pride, judgementalism, pornography, self-harm, alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive shopping or gambling....go on....there are numerous sins. And we are all broken.

"Judgement is a terrible evangelism strategy.
People don't line up to be judged."
Carey Nieuwhof http://careynieuwhof.com

And if we are tempted to judge anyone it should be ourself first. Shouldn't we deal with the log in our own eye before we help our brother/sister with the speck in their eye? (Matthew 7:3)

Jesus said God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others.
(Matthew 7:2)

We've all been saved by grace, not by our own righteous deeds (Ephesians 2:9)

Amy Grant sings a song, "Better Than A Hallelujah", and the chorus says, "We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah"

People want love. People want to be listened to. Building relationships is so much better and Christ-like than judgementalism and hate.

So love people. Especially the people with whom you disagree.

Listen to them. Pray for them.

I've been reading a book titled "The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert" by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. She used to be lesbian. And her book is her story of how Christ changed her life. It's a good read. She was drawn to Christ by love and acceptance, not hate and judgement.

The radical ethic of grace and truth found in Jesus is more desperately needed in our world today than ever before.

Christians have always flourished under persecution. Christ promised life would be hard. He also promised He's with us every step of the way.

So let's extend grace. Let's let His light shine.

Star Fruit and Spondias

Our new rental has a Star Fruit tree in the front yard. The fruit tastes a bit like a mix of crisp apple and sweet grapes. It's good!


Star Fruit

It's also known as Carambola.
It is native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.


James in the branches of the star fruit tree.

Another fruit we recently picked up at the market for the first time is called spondias - also known as the Spanish plum. It's a bit like eating an apple in texture and taste. Lamay kaayo! (very good!)