Saturday, October 30, 2010

Take 2

Never consider any one unworthy. Because you might wake up one day to realize that you have lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones...~Anonymous

Recently a coworker and I were made aware of a bakery located in the downtown part of the city where I live...a Bavarian bakery, with a German baker who learned how to bake while still living in her home country. From the second we heard of it we were super excited. I've spent three summers in Europe and have rarely been disappointed in any type of sweet I've had while living there. My coworker had lived on a military base in Germany and claimed Bavarian pastries are among the best in the world. Needless to say, we were both super stoked about checking it out.

So, yesterday morning, I talked my mom into going there with me. Needless to say, one coffee and pastry later, Mom was not all that impressed and already in the mindset that she wouldn't bother going back. While driving home, with a different pastry for my dad, I was thinking about whether or not I had liked it and decided that I'd probably give it just one more chance.

Upon arriving home I gave my dad his pastry and broke out a fork myself to taste it. Needless to say, I am now very much looking forward to returning there...what we bought Dad was one of the best pastries I've had in my whole life! When my mom got home I made her taste it and stood there just to watch her reaction. She absolutely loved it too..I am quite sure now that we will both be going back. :-)

"Take 2": a term often used by producers while filming a production, when the first attempt did not go well and needs to be redone. (Per "Pilgrim's" Dictionary ;-))

I think it's important in life for us to remember sometimes to "take 2". We need to step back and realize that our first impression of a person, be it from personal experience or through the gossip chain (which should be null & void anyway)may be inaccurate, just as easily as our judgements of random restaurants, etc may be too conclusive and perhaps really limited to that particular night in which they were low staffed or had a new cook, or maybe you just ate the wrong thing.

Some judgements may be correct at the time, but remember, people can change. Other judgements can be false from the get go. Just as how in my last blog I talked about how both myself and another person could have been deprived of an awesome friendship, though that time not due to an actual "judgement", so also we can unknowingly be depriving our ownselves of getting to know someone who could potentially become our new best friend!

Always carry with you a little reasonable doubt, should you meet someone who needs to be found innocent. ~Robert Braul

How rare and wonderful is that flash in the moment when we realize we have discovered a friend. ~William Rotsler

I encourage you.... "Take 2"!

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? ~James 4:11-12

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~Ephesians 4:29

And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: ~Isaiah 11:3

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. ~Galatians 5:14

Let everything you do be done in love (true love to God and man as inspired by God's love for us). ~1 Corinthians 5:14 (Amplified Bible)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Not a Problem; It's an Opportunity.

Today, while thinking about some of my closest friends, I started trying to remember how I met each of them. Most I don't even remember when exactly I met them. But a few I remember very well, because our friendships began under negative circumstances.

One of my closest friends I met while we were attending IBC together. I didn't know her at all when she asked me, while sitting in a student lounge across from me, "Do you want a new roommate?!" She was in an extremely bad roommate situation. Her and her roommate pretty much couldn't stand each other. I, on the other hand, got along fine with mine, but was wanting to find a better situation, yet not hurt my roomie's feelings. I hadn't told anyone I was feeling this way. I told the girl, "I don't know" and that I'd get back with her. Long story short, I found out through the grapevine that my roommate and her new best friend were wanting to be roomies, so, not even knowing the girl's name,while sitting across from her in the lobby again, I asked her if she still wanted a new roommate...a year and a half later we'd been roommates a year, never fought, discovered we were oddly a like in tons of ways, and still to this day we remain great friends. Her situation was very bad, and mine not so great...but a lifelong friendship came to be because of it.

Another one of my closest friends I met because I was invited by a friend of hers to stay at her house with a group of other people I didn't really know, in a town where our Bible school choral,which I was in, would be singing. I was told she was cool with me joining and so I decided to do it, though I felt a little awkward about it, considering I wasn't even sure who she was, since there were like 5 girls with the same name at our school. Well, it so happened that almost everyone ended up taking different vehicles, due to varying schedules, to drive the 3 hour drive to the city we were singing in. Somehow the girl and I ended up being the only ones who could leave at the planned time. So...we loaded up our stuff and ever since that road trip, that began with me feeling like jumping ship, we have remained great friends.

Another time, while a new freshman in Bible college, a girl who I didn't know from Adam (or rather Eve :-) said a snappy statement in response to my reply to a question an upperclassmen had asked me. I was embarrassed and hurt. Mainly hurt. I didn't understand why the girl didn't like me, when she didn't even know me.

I prayed long and hard about this, telling God I wanted to get along with everyone, and asking him to please heal the situation. Within a week the girl stopped me in the staircase and apologized. She told me she had been jealous of me and that she had liked the person she knew I liked for a while and that she was very sorry for what she did. (The upperclassman had asked who I liked. I had told him I didn't want to say. Her snappy response was "It's not like everybody doesn't know!"..Well, I hadn't known everybody, especially people I didn't know, knew, and I definitely didn't know why she was being rude about it.)

This girl was a quiet somewhat reserved person that few people got to know well during the two years I was there, but I was blessed to get to know her very well...even getting invited into her room to pet her pet bunny that no one knew about (they weren't supposed to be allowed on campus.:-) In the end she even told me that she hoped me and that person would end up together. That didn't happen. (Obviously:-P) But I think that shows just how God turned a bad situation around and made it something great!

More recently I have been blessed to develop friendships with some fabulous people whom I would never have even met probably had it not been for what turned out to be an unfavorable situation that I've had to go through. I know these new friendships are going to be long lasting and have a great effect on my life. And I know, in the end, that I will look back and say, "You know what...ever bit of it was worth it."

Today I overheard my coworker respond to another coworker regarding a "problem" they were working on, "Don't say "problem"; say "opportunity!"

Sometimes in life that's exactly how we have to look at things. Sometimes we have to think, "Wow, this is really messed up, but I bet God can do something really special with it!" If God can give beauty for ashes I believe He can take any situation and cause beauty to come forth from it! Remember we are, after all, talking about the Creater who made man from dust.

Let's not also forget the most obvious opportunities always available: the opportunity to grow and the opportunity to learn.

Problem: source of perplexity, distress, or vexation

Opportunity: a favorable juncture of circumstances, a good chance for advancement or progress (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Born & Ready to Serve

For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers... ~Acts 13:36

How did David spend his life?
He SERVED his own generation BY THE WILL OF GOD.

David, the man about whom many books have been written and about whom more sermons have probably been preached than any other person in the Bible, short of Jesus Christ Himself.

David, the man who, according to 1 Samuel 13:13, was considered a man after God's own heart and who, because of this, was personally sought by God and commanded to lead Israel....spent his life dedicated to doing God's will in serving his generation. The generation he was born to serve.

Apparently David had something very right, which means there's a lot we can learn from his example.

1)He was a servant.

No, this does not contradict his being a king. He was simply the best kind of leader that there is, one with a servant's heart.

2)David sought God's will and then followed it.

No, David wasn't perfect. But he was sincere. And he always knew to turn to God, to listen to Him, and to obey Him.

God knew David's heart when he first called him to lead and that is exactly why He chose him.

He chose him because He saw in him a taste of what He himself would be like when He would come as Jesus, God in flesh, the ultimate example,showing us how to truly love one another and delivering all mankind.

So...What do you think God has in store for OUR generation?!

If we choose to have a servant's heart and listen to and obey His voice, I believe we'll be humbly amazed what He will choose to do through us. I believe it will blow our minds what we are about to see God do!

I'm SO ready! Are you?!

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. ~John 14:12-14

....for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe,even if someone told you. Acts 13:41

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Scrambled with Cheese Please!

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~James 1:8

Not long ago I watched the movie "Runaway Bride" for the umpteenth time. I've always thought it was a cute movie and besides that I just really like Julia Roberts and Richard Gere together. This last time I watched it though, there was a part that stood out to me in a major much that a few weeks later, I'm still thinking about it.

For those who haven't seen the movie, it's basically about a small town girl (Julia Roberts) who has a fear of commitment and has been engaged 4 (I think) times and is now once again engaged. A big city reporter (Richard Gere), hears about this lady and travels to the small town to do research on her, as well as, he hopes, witness her run again.

As the movie goes on, he interviews each of her exes and one question he asks each of them is how she likes her eggs for breakfast. Each one responds with a certain type (each different), and then says, "same as me". Through this the reporter ends up realizing that the reason she keeps running is because she feels none of these guys really know her for who she is, but rather for who she has molded herself to be...whoever it is that they want her to be.

Later in the movie,it shows her with eggs in every way you can fix them laying out on a table and she is taste testing each of them. A short time later the following conversation occurs between her and the reporter:
Maggie Carpenter (Julia): Benedict.
Ike Graham (Richard): Arnold.
Maggie Carpenter (Julia): I love Eggs Benedict, I hate every other kind. I hate big weddings with everybody staring. I'd like to get married on a weekday while everybody's at work. And when I ride off into the sunset, I want my own horse.

Ok, so I know it's a stretch to connect something out of Hollywood to something spiritual or wholesome....but I'm going to attempt to go there. Grant it, I'm preaching to the choir when I say this, but it is SO important to know yourself. Your likes. Your dislikes. Your personal convictions. Where you are in God and where you're wanting to go in Him.

It's so important to know these things, and not compromise them for anyone. Ever. For any reason. Grant it, people's likes and dislikes are often going to vary and that's perfectly normal and acceptable. But don't give up something you care deeply about or ever try to make someone else do so, unless it's in a positive peer pressure kind of way,in which it would be for their own betterment.

I know the obvious relationship type it may seem that I'm talking about is in dating/ marriage relationships, but this can also apply to friendships, parent/ child relationships, etc.

Proverbs 4:23 says:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Luckily God has a way of meeting us in the middle when we put forth effort to do what's right...
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7

Know yourself. Know who you are in Christ. And hold on to and guard that with all your might.