Friday, November 30, 2007
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am a better person than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on what was told to me in confidence?
4. Can I be trusted?
5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habit?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give Elohim time to speak to me everyday?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey Elohim in anything?
14. Do I insist in doing something in which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank Elohim I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone I fear, dislike, criticize, or resent? If so, what am I doing about it?
21. Do I grumble and complain constantly?
22. Is Messiah real to me today?
Periodically asking myself these questions has been a great exercise in helping me discover personal areas of necessary improvement and I'm passing them on in hopes that you too will reflect on them often that we may all grow better and stronger in Him.
Let's remember to pray for one another, that we will represent Him well at all times!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Sabbath afternoon, I felt really, really tired and laid down for a nap before church. Couldn't lie on my left side, however, because of pain and pressure on that side of my face and head. I thought it was simply a headache coming on because I was tired and that it would clear up with a little nap. Well, 20 minutes or so later, I was up again and the pain was intensified. By this time, I'm thinking it's just a little sinus pressure and it will go away on its own. So Mr. Free and I head to church and I could barely sit still through the service as the pain was literally growing worse and worse by the second. I whispered to him that I needed to go to the hospital, but that I didn't want to go at that exact moment. I just didn't feel right running from church to the hospital. LOL Church was only an hour or so, but I swear it felt like 5 hours. I did my best to concentrate and pray over the pain, but it was difficult. I literally thought I was going to pass out as the entire left side of my face was aching something terrible and I had shooting pains deep in the inside of my ear. I cannot even describe to you how much it hurt!
Ok, so I get to the ER and why did the intake nurse immediately order an EKG?! Of course, I said my ear hurts, but I also said a lot of other stuff hurt and that I'd been having weird symptoms for days prior (I'd been smelling smoke that no one else could smell and have felt like a chemical of some sort was settled into the back of my throat...turns out it was all compliments of the residual effects of wildfires that had been raging around these parts a few weeks ago and was trapped in my sinus cavity...gross!). The nurse took all of this "odd" information to mean that I may be having a heart attack! See, this is part of the reason I don't do the Dr. thing too often. I went in with an ear/sinus issue and they were about to diagnose me with a heart condition. lol
So, after they scared the mess out of me with an EKG (which was fine, btw) and ushering me into the cardiology dept for further examination, I finally saw a real doctor. Although I'd told the 2 prior nurses that I suspected an ear infection, one (the one that ordered the EKG) didn't even bother to look inside of my ear and the second one looked inside, but said it looked perfectly fine. At last, a the very kind doctor assigned to me actually listened to my prognosis, took a real look inside (as opposed to one just to shut me up) and discovered I have a raging inner-ear infection which has been caused by an long-untreated sinus infection. She even asked me why I'd had an EKG to which I just looked at her like, "you're kidding, right?" I mean, it's not like I asked for one, lady. I was too grateful for her help and her bedside manner was impeccable, otherwise I may have been led to give her my mom's speech on how the medical profession is merely "practicing" medicine, and haven't quite gotten it right yet. lol
Though I don't like taking medications, ESPECIALLY antibiotics, I haven't the time or energy to research the best natural treatment for something so painful and so advanced on such short notice, so I've relented and am taking the meds as prescribed. Okay, not exactly as prescribed as I've only taken one of the pain pills and have decided that I don't need anymore. The pain has substantially subsided and those things knock me completely out. I literally slept from 1a Sunday morning until 8:30p Sunday night...only waking to take more meds...and that was off of just one pain pill (plus a decongestant which also makes me sleepy, but that the doctor says will work with the antibiotic to knock it completely out once and for all).
Anyway, it's 1:30a and I've just taken another round of meds. Not sure if I have anymore sleep left in me, lol, so I'm blogging and catching up on all of the blogs I've missed over the weekend.
Since I'm taking a little time off, I thought you might enjoy checking out a few entries that will surely bless you:
Better Than Love by Kerry at An Help Meet For Him blog
An Interesting Article on Christmas by EliYah
Also, a good discussion on Christmas on EliYah's forums
Lastly, an interesting take on new illegal immigration laws and how they may affect ministry efforts on Jim Wallis' blog, God's Politics, at BeliefNet.
Hope everyone has a blessed week and I'll be back soon.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
There are times when I spend hours or sometimes even days and weeks wondering about a situation. Not necessarily worrying (although I've had my share of those days too), but just trying to understand a thing, or trying to figure out how it will turn out.
I do the same thing sometimes even in Spiritual matters. I'll read and study and pray and discuss a matter until I'm exhausted (and sometimes even a little confused, overwhelmed with information and even frustrated), before I'll decide to just allow the Spirit which leads us into all truth to do just that. Now, of course, reading and studying and praying and discussing a matter is not a bad thing, but it can often become a solo effort...an effort to understand things by intellect rather than to be revealed in the Spirit. I'm speaking for FreeIndeed right now, so if this isn't your issue, don't trip. ;)
My point is that I endeavor to not become overly concerned with matters that are too lofty or too wonderful for me to yet comprehend, but to wait on Yahweh as a child who has been weaned from its mother's breast. I'm ready to receive heavier food, but have the patience in understanding that, as hungry and as ready as I may be (or think I am), sometimes I have to wait for the proper hour when I will be served. By the same token, Yahweh is not interested in starving me...quite the contrary! But He also doesn't want my appetite spoiled by trying to eat unhealthy snacks before mealtime (entertaining too many conflicting opinions from others on certain subjects). He knows when I'm ready to eat and He knows when the right time comes to give me understanding in a matter, so like that child, I don't wait while wailing away, but I wait in patience and confidence while He prepares my heart and mind to partake. Doesn't mean we can't diligently seek, just that we must be patient as everything is not known at once.
Enjoy what's left of Sabbath all...and be careful not to spoil your appetites, Yahweh is serving great wisdom daily and we will understand all by His will in His time.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
Saturday, November 3, 2007
As do I, Professor Crane realizes Civil Marriage as a completely separate institution than Religious Marriage and gives a very detailed explanation on the dangers involved with merging the two. He further believes that the Christian Right's attempts to legally define marriage through constitutional amendment will do far more to ruin the religious concept of marriage in the minds of people as well as the legal grounds for religious freedom, than it will do good.
At the onset of his essay, he gives a pretty lengthy history of marriage in both the Jewish and the Christian traditions including how, in the Jewish tradition, civil marriage is still viewed as irrelevant in contrast to the mainstream Christian practice of placing marriage, by definition and validity, in the hands of modern government.
Even if you disagree with thoughts of marriage being a private, religious institution ONLY, I think you'll find Prof. Crane's claims to be rather thought-provoking and a worthy read.
I'm just happy to not be alone in my opinion of legal marriage being TOTALLY different from biblical marriage (and did you know that C.S. Lewis had similar thoughts?). :)
Happy reading and Shabbat Shalom to all!
P.S. Here's a cleaner PDF version if you care to print it out:
A Judeo-Christian Argument For Privatizing Marriage by Daniel A. Crane