Thursday, May 31, 2012

"When Can I Fall?"

My dad was telling me about his coworker's four-year-old boy who recently got his head run over by a golf cart. The doctor installed a metal plate in his head that will become his skull as he grows, and he has recovered remarkably well. On the way to the doctor for a check-up, he told his mom authoritatively, "I want to see the doctor. I need to talk to him." When she asked him what he needed to say, he replied, "I need to ask him: when can I run, when can I jump, when can I ride my bike, and when can I fall." I was so surprised by this little boy's last question. What a cutie! The last question showed some insight on life. The boy knew that he was going to fall; it's just part of life, and he was planning on it. The doctor told him that he could run, and he could jump, but he couldn't fall that week. Obviously, the doctor couldn't control whether or not the boy fell, but he would keep him from falling if he could.

After we get injured spiritually, we usually need some recovery time. We know we're going to fall again, but God won't give us more than we can handle.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV):
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

Another thing about temptation is that God doesn't cause it, so don't blame Him.

James 1:13 (ESV):
"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one."

I think God is probably like that doctor, knowing that we're not ready for a fall immediately after a spiritual emergency. He gives us some recovery time, and if you feel like you're getting pounded by temptation after temptation, realize that God won't give you more than you can bear. Rely on his strength to battle your temptations.

Philippians 4:12-13 (ESV):
"12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Reading

Here's a "sweet sixteen" list of some of my favorite books:

1. Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson

4. Rachel's Tears by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott

5. The Journals of Rachel Scott

6. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

7. In the Presence of my Enemies by Gracia Burnham

8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

9. Joni by Joni Eareckson

10. Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

11. The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp

12. Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

13. Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Carey (some language, I think, our copy has white-out :)

14. The Summons to Become by Rachel Chambers

15. Twice Pardoned by Harold Morris

16. Bruchko by Bruce Olson

I love to read! I'm always looking for more books that help me develop and grow in my faith. Do you have any suggestions? If so, please share them in a comment below.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Should We Avoid Guys?

So...should we avoid guys? I was talking with a friend in her mid-twenties, and she was giving me advice for college. She said that I should not be friends with guys, but that I should politely avoid them. That idea sounded silly to me, but many girls think that way or are taught that way. Then I realized that she hadn't had any brothers, and she really didn't understand guys very well. I have three brothers and no sisters, so I typically connect with guys better than I do with girls. If girls aren't used to guys, they sometimes develop a victim's mindset toward guys, thinking that every guy wants to be friends to get something from them.

1 Timothy 5:1-2 (ESV):

1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,
2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Those verses are talking about believers relationships with each other.
Obviously, if we're treating the young men like brothers, we aren't ignoring them (unless you ignore your brothers, which is a bad idea:). Ignoring guys just because they're guys is prejudice, selfish, and silly. But forming relationships with guys is just like any other relationship: you must be careful. There are some creepy guys out there that you shouldn't be hanging out with, and if any guy gets more serious about you than you want him to, you should make it clear to him that you just want to be friends, and if he pushes it, avoid him.

2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV):

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

This verse is often used for marriage, but it applies to every relationship. Don't make unspiritual people your best friends or mentors, and it's best not to spend too much time with guys who aren't believers. But, in general, enjoy the guys; they liven up our world and make it more fun to live in! Avoiding them makes you appear snobbish and stuck-up. Enjoy friendships, but be careful to avoid crushes on and emotional games with your guy friends. Wait for your special man.