My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

Maundy Thursday

John 13:1-17

Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father.  Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end.  It was suppertime.  The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal.

Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God.  So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron.  When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”

Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”

Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”

“Master!” said Peter.  “Not only my feet, then.  Wash my hands!  Wash my head!”

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe.  My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene.  So now you are clean.  But not every one of you.”  After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.

Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you?  You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so.  That is what I am.  So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet.  I’ve laid down a pattern for you.  What I’ve done, you do.  I’m only pointing out the obvious.  A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer.  If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.

 

Matthew 26: 26-29

During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples:

                Take and eat.  This is my body.

Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them:

Drink this, all of you.  This is my blood, God’s new covenant poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.

I’ll not be drinking wine from this cup again until that new day when I’ll drink with you in the kingdom of my Father.

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God is in Control

One of the things that I struggle with most as a Christian is trying not to worry or be anxious and giving things to God.  Do you struggle with this as well?  Admitting that I am powerless and that there is nothing I can do is really hard.  I like to feel like I am in control, and giving that control up to God is something I need to remind myself to do literally a million times a day.

There are lots of verses in the Bible about not worrying and not be anxious and affirmation that God is in control.  I think that this is because, we need to hear it and be reminded all the time!  I know I do.  Even though I remind myself of this truth all the time, it has not yet gotten any easier for me.

Here are some of my favorite verses in the Bible that I turn to in order to be reminded:

Matthew 6:25-34  Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 55:22  Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Proverbs 12:25  Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Philippians 4:6-7  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 13:6   The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?

Proverbs 19:21  Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Besides reading scripture, another way that I remind myself that God is in control is through prayer to God.  I have found that prayer is incredibly comforting for me, and that comfort makes it easier for me to give control to God.  One thing that also helps me give up control is knowing that other people are praying for me as well.

I have added a new page to this blog, and I hope that you will check it out and use it.  On the right side, click on “I Believe” and then “Prayr Requests.”  I will be updating it with my specific prayer requests, and I would love for you to send me your requests so that I may pray for you as well.  I will update this page often with mine and your prayer requests so that we can all be in prayer for each other.  I am really excited about this and I hope that it will be as encouraging to you as it is to me.

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Sometimes it is hard to read

Why is it that I can fly through a book but when it comes to reading the Bible I find it hard to read.  I even bought the new “The Story” Bible because I thought it would encourage me to read it.  Nope.  I’ve hardly touched it.  One of my goals for the year has been to read my Bible every day and to read through the whole Bible this year.  I realized while at church on Sunday that I have not read my Bible for three weeks now and I hardly even noticed!

I am very disturbed by this revelation.  Fiction books I can read through very quickly, so why do I find it so hard to sit down and read a few chapters of my Bible a day.

I realized that what changed for me in the past three weeks is that I have been sleeping on the couch and not in my bed.  Usually I would read my Bible before bed, so I would go upstairs and lay in bed while I read.  Now, I do not have a reason to get off the couch because that is where I am staying for the evening.  It is not as easy now to tear myself away from the television or whatever I am doing downstairs.

I am really going to try to get back on the ball this week and set quiet time aside well before bedtime so I do not forget to read my Bible.

Do you have any other suggestions for how I can make it easier to read my Bible?

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Sunday Mornings

I love Sunday mornings.  There is just something about them that makes them so peaceful.  When I was growing up Sunday mornings were always quiet and focused.  We didn’t watch TV, we listened to worshipful music while we were getting ready, and the time was devoted to preparing ourselves to go to church.

I miss these days.  Sunday mornings now have become busy and hectic.  I would like to try and get up earlier and do more preparing to go to church.  I think it would do a lot for my attitude and mindset.

I hope you have a blessed Sunday morning.

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Unexpected Truths

A few months ago, I watched The Green Mile for the first time.  I was home alone, and by the end of it I was bawling like a baby.  Watching the movie, I had the most personal realization of Christ and his sacrifice that I have ever had.  At the time, I wrote a blog post about it.

Because I had been so moved by the movie, I wanted the read the book because I assumed it would be much better than the movie and tell more of the story.  I just finished the book yesterday.  It was a very good story, but I was not moved to tears this time.  This could be that I already knew what was going to happen.  Anyways, the movie turned out to be very true to the book.  There are very few scenes from the book that did not make it into the movie.

It was a very good book, but this is another case of my liking a movie more than a book.  One quote from the book did strike a chord with me and I wanted to share it with you.  I’m going to try and do this without ruining the story.

“He appeared to be limping just a bit on his left rear leg, and that was what struck me the hardest—it was, I suppose, what made it real.  That little limp.”

The characters have just experienced a miracle, something that was dead is now alive.  Reading this section, it reminded me of Christ and his scars.  Surely God could have given Christ a perfect body when he was risen from the dead, but he didn’t.  Jesus was left with scars.  And thinking of that through the lens of the above quote, really stood out to me.  Jesus’ scars make it easier to believe that it actually happened.  That he actually died.

I have found that God will reveal truths to you when you least expect it, and I was confronted with many truths from The Green Mile.

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Don’t Forget Discipline

dis·ci·pline

[dis-uh-plin] Show IPA noun, verb, dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing.
noun

1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.

How many of us try to practice discipline?  Now, I am not talking about disciplining your children, so let’s just disregard the third definition for what I am going to say today.

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.

How many of us actually pay attention that that last fruit and say, “I’m going to work on being self-controlled or disciplined today.”  Not many of us probably.  And until this month, I had not either.

We have been talking about spiritual disciplines at church: reading the Bible, prayer, fasting, and so on.  When you practice spiritual disciplines you are training your spiritual behavior, you are working to make it stronger.  Because of these sermons, I have decided to discipline myself in reading my Bible and praying by doing this every day.

Adam and I are taking the Financial Peace University class because we need more discipline with our money.

Showing discipline in many areas or your life shows that you have self-control and that you are training yourself to be a certain way.  Because of all this talk of discipline I have decided to try and discipline myself in other areas of my life.  I am already working on spiritual and financial discipline, and I have added my own goals of showing discipline in my eating habits, in my exercising, writing every day, and in cleaning the house.  I want to train myself to be a certain way.   For me, it is important to learn these disciplines now so they will become habits for the rest of my life.

I have been thinking a lot about discipline and why I think it is important and these two verses really helped me:

Hebrews 12:11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 13:4  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, which the soul of the diligent is richly supported.

So, I encourage you to think about discipline in a way you perhaps haven’t before.  I have found it very freeing and I am excited to see what these next few months of discipline will bring.

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Flourish

1I recently was at a bible study where I heard a wonderful message from the following text:

Jeremiah 29:4-7

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.  Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give you daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters.  Increase in number there; do not decrease.  Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.  Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Ever since Adam has been in seminary, I have seen us in a transition period.  It can sometimes seem that this is a means to an end.  Even though Adam and I have only been in this stage of our lives for less than a year, I have viewed this as a stepping stone to the future.  I have been saying “I wish…” or “I can’t wait until…”  This verse is an important reminder to be present HERE in this stage of our life.

I need to invest in my life and the community I am in NOW.  I need to be present here and now and not only think of the future after Emmanuel.  And honestly, we’ll probably be here another three or so years just so Adam can finish his degree.  And wishing my way through those years would be no way to live.

God is telling the people not to be stagnant.  Prosper.  Grow.  Exile is only for a time:  don’t become out of practice.  I think it is important to remember that I need to be an active part of this community here.  I need to do my part to see this community prosper in Christ.

This was just an important reminder to engage in your life and community wherever you may be.  Even if you feel like you are in exile or that this is just temporary, flourish and grow where you are.  Be a part of your community, be hospitable.  Don’t just sit around and wait, ACT.

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