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Timeless truth in a changing world

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Law

Tried and Found Wanting

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Looking at my friend’s list of goals for the week, I started to feel rather unambitious. She and I are accountability partners, so we check in every week to report progress and set new goals. It’s a lovely arrangement, but last week she sent me her list that included seven items, many of them multi-faceted. My list had all of two things on it, both related to writing. I told her my goals looked completely lame in comparison, and she laughed and said, “I was thinking my goals were lame! You’re writing a book, and all I’m doing is finding people to fix stuff around our house!” Then she reminded me of a saying someone had once told her: “To compare is to despair.”

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Humans have an innate need to feel good about ourselves. We want desperately to believe that other people make mistakes; other people need to change, but not us.

The Gospel is a wonderful, freeing thing. But is there such a thing as too much Gospel? I explore that in The Law We Don’t Like Hearing from the Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife blog.

Taking the Gospel for Granted

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Familiarity breeds contempt.

So goes the old expression. And we get the basic premise; At first, everything is new and exciting, but over time that excitement fades and one tends to take for granted what once was  an amazing blessing. Whether this plays out in a marriage, a job, or even possessions, we can all think of examples. But what happens when you find yourself feeling this way about the Gospel?

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Everyday Editing

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I love to write. I love the thrill I get when I have a good idea for a plot development. I love holing myself away in my little closet office as I race to get the words onto the screen before I forget what I’m trying to say. I love talking about my characters to anyone who will listen. I love that I can use my imagination and not have to follow a set of directions. I basically love everything about writing. Well, that’s not exactly true.  There’s one part of writing I could do without: editing.

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Church isn’t Church isn’t Church

I really want to get into Harvard Law School someday so I have a chance at a prestigious law firm.  Then again, college is college, right?  I can save a whole lot of effort and money going down the road to First Street Community College.  I’m sure those prestigious law firms can recognize talent when they see it.  Who needs Harvard anyhow?

I had to buy a car to make a cross country trip.  The salesman was trying to get me to buy a fancy new car with all these bells and whistles- side airbags, traction control, good safety ratings, and of course the extended warranty.  I say, forget all that.  A car is a car, after all.  I just need a set of wheels.  So I went to the used car lot instead and bought a beat up thing for a lot less money.  I mean, yeah, the gas mileage is terrible, and the oil apparently leaks, but it runs, right? 

I used to try to eat well, but it’s just too much effort.  Making food from scratch is so time consuming, and I just don’t want to do it anymore.  So now I live on frozen pizza, fast food, and convenience store snacks.  I mean, hey, food is food.  I’m getting the calories I need.

I’m just glad she’s going to church.  I don’t care where she goes as long as she’s going.  Church is church, you know.

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Boundaries

Our puppy is completely ridiculous.  We have a fairly large fenced in yard that allows her plenty of room to run and play, but what is the one thing to which she’s attracted?  You guessed it- the gate.  See, there’s this little opening between the fence and the gate itself, just big enough for her to squeeze through.  Give her a few more months and she won’t be able to fit, but for now she can do it, so she does.  It’s not enough that she has the whole yard- she wants to explore what’s beyond that fence.  She doesn’t understand that we keep her fenced in for her own safety or that she actually has complete freedom in the yard itself.  No, she wants what she can’t have.  Silly, isn’t it?  Good thing we aren’t that way…

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Why I Will Never Choose God

Yesterday afternoon did not start out well.  At all.  Within 10 minutes of my older three children arriving home from school, all three were in time outs in separate rooms.  Attitudes toward me and toward one another were hostile from the time they walked in the door.  It was not pretty.  I’ll spare you the sordid details, but suffice it to say that I laid down the law.  Literally.  I slapped down a notebook in front of my oldest two who can write, and told them each to copy the Fourth Commandment and its meaning three times.  Then I went to my own room, honestly quite upset with all of them and wondering if it was too early to start the bedtime process. Fellow parents, ever had days like that?

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Dare to be Different

Ever since my last blog post, I’ve been thinking a lot about bearing the cross. Really, the Bible is full of examples of people who had heavy crosses to bear. Think of the prophet Jeremiah. This poor guy was called to proclaim the Law in all its fury to the wayward people of Israel. He had to give news of the exile to a nation who largely scorned or ignored him. He may have been called “the iron prophet,” but he also earned the nickname “the weeping prophet.” Jeremiah really did have a tough assignment. And so it isn’t surprising that at times he broke down and questioned God.

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The Good Side of Bad

My husband knew a guy in college who claimed he hadn’t sinned for a year.  He had found some religious group that showed him how to not sin, apparently, and this guy was completely serious about not sinning anymore.  Sound preposterous?  He’s not alone.  Joyce Meyer, famous Christian author and speaker, believes the same thing.  Perhaps you’ve seen the video clip where she publicly states that she has stopped sinning.  (It’s only 31 seconds long- it’s worth the watch.)  “I am not poor, I am not miserable, I am not a sinner,” she begins.  (I guess she didn’t like the confession part of our service where we start out, “I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess to you all my sins…”)  She goes on to say that if she was still a sinner, then Jesus died in vain.  She further points out that she didn’t stop sinning until she got it through her thick head that she wasn’t a sinner anymore.  “The Bible tells me I am righteous, and I can’t be righteous and a sinner at the same time,” she ends.  Huh.  Interesting logic.  But here’s the thing- where is the focus when you believe you’re not sinning anymore?  Are your eyes fixed on Jesus, or on your own good works?

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