Update on Life, April Edition

April hasn’t been a terribly busy month in the way of events, but it has been in the way of spiritual battles.

April was Camp Nanowrimo month, but sadly, I didn’t compete for more than a few days before I felt it best to quit Nanowrimo this time. And honestly, I feel like I’ve conquered an idol. When November comes, I’ll do it with spirit and gusto, but not with all my heart, nor all my time. 🙂

God has been dealing with me in the way of pet sins, small ones that we think don’t matter but have lasted a long time. Things like attitude adjustment and habit breaking. Sometimes breaking away from those sins can be very painful. I hold on to them and grow more and more depressed, knowing that I will only grow more so, but still stomping my foot like a two-year-old, unwilling to admit that I’m wrong. I still don’t understand how I can be so lenient about some things, and so stubborn about my own comfort. It is painful, but at the end of each struggle is grace and peace.

A funny thing happened after I wrote those two blog posts, Our Fallen World and In the World but Not of the World. I wrote those in perfect conscience, but afterward realized that I wasn’t applying a lot of the truths I had just written about. God has been placing messages in my life to show me where I am holding on the world and where I need to let go.

I’ve been reminded of God’s goodness through some passages of scripture. Psalm 103, being one. Also Psalm 73, Job 42:1-6, Daniel 2:17-23, and Acts 2. (I also heard and have been meditating on this sermon by one of our pastors.)

I recently fell upon an old hymn that not many know, but you’ve got to love.

Matthew Smith has rewritten the melody, which I like more than the original. Go memorize the song. It’s short, simple, and so true!

I’ve also noticed that my blog seems to have become a big love proponent. Every post seems to have the same central message, “Love.” I want some diversity as much as any of you, but I’ve had a recent insight on love that I want to share. It’s good! And it’s short.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is self.

I have had that in mind recently. If only we could love each other perfectly! If we could put aside our own interests to love each other with pure and unhindered love, then our joy in Christ could be full, and we could truly change this world. As for me, I am very self-centered instead of being God centered. I enjoy my own comfort and pleasure too much, but with God’s grace I hope I am getting better.

So that’s inward life right now, and God is always faithful.

The Mexico Mission Trip is coming together!
Last time Psalm 67 had a team there, they visited several Christian Rehab centers. They heard amazing testimonies from the people down there, ex-cartel members and lifelong drug addicts who had come to these centers and heard the gospel. Now they want to be pastors! However they have little resources for studying the Bible, and when our team leader suggested the idea of building a theological library for them, they had an enthusiastic response, even including tears. Several rehab centers asked if we could help put together libraries for them. So that’s what we will be doing on this trip! As far as our funds let us, we will be building shelves with the people there, and giving them books to help them study the Bible. Right now we are raising funds. If you feel led to give, you can visit the blog and donate. Or you can mail:

Psalm 67 Missions Network
3671 Telegraph Rd
Arnold, MO 63010

I’m very excited about the team I’ll be going with. Please pray for them by name:
Sarah and Billy Jackson
Gennie Jackson
Myself
Aaron Sutton
Russ Sanders
Mark Akins
Savannah Weber
Barbara Fudge
John Parker

I’m excited about the church we’ll be partnering with and the ministry we’ll be doing! It’s hard to believe the trip is less than a month away.

As far as reading goes, I have quite a few that I’ve been picking up every day to read.

  • Pentecost Today, a Biblical understanding of revival
  • The Universe Nextdoor, a basic worldview catalog
  • Writing Great Books for Young Adults, not a book for young adults, a book for writing books for young adults. I’ve read it before. Nothing special, I just had an inkling to review it.
  • The Thief, I’ve read it for the fourth or fifth time, and now I’m trying to find out how Megan Whalen Turner writes books so well. I have learned some things, but I also learned that she’s married to a professor. No way! No wonder….
  • The Dangerous Duty of Delight, a wonderful little book, derived from the book “Desiring God,” by John Piper
  • The Brotherband Chronicles, book 2, which is just pleasure reading. I finished all of the Ranger’s Apprentice and moved on the the Brotherband series, which I like more.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, and it’s been lovely. Read it if you haven’t.

I’ve umpired my first game of the season! And compared to the other two games that went on that evening, mine was a piece of cake. I think this season will be much better than last. ;D (Btw, I did end up writing a poem for my test, but it wasn’t nearly as cool because it had real references and made sense.)

And that’s just about my month summed up. I’m sure I’ve left out something, but this post is already too long.

So on to May!

May looks like a lot of fun! 😉 Just you wait.
Ellie

 

Edit: I know what I forgot to mention! Grace Camp Meeting at the beginning of the month! I might make a separate post to show a few pictures and share some notes. But if you want to listen to the sermons, go here. They’re all good!

Advertisements

Updates on Life, February Edition

God is very good.

To someone who succumbs to laziness daily, loses patience more than daily, neglects priorities, and can’t seem to mature He is amazingly gracious.

Sometimes I feel like Lot who wouldn’t leave behind the city (that was about to be destroyed anyway) until the angels grabbed his stubborn hands and dragged him out. Even when I’m reluctant to leave the old behind, God still drags me into the new, and the new is good!

Even though I feel like I don’t mature, I do feel this attachment to the world is constantly fading. Its opinions and ideals mean less and less. “Living life to the fullest” has certainly lost its charm. More and more I just want the joy and peace I get in God and I want the fellowship I get from the church.

And that’s just about it.

So, looking over the month of February, I’ve learned

  • Improv piano is more enjoyable than written piano
  • Walking onto a stage to stand up for half an hour while sick is not ideal
  • The book of Revelations is mainly dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem
  • The Destruction of Jerusalem is much more significant that I ever realized
  • Daniel Webster was a jerk to invent a dictionary
  • Life without math is wonderful
  • Poetry is a good writing practice, both reading and writing it
  • Glow worms are disgusting

Another new, sort of new, accurance—well, I’m umpiring again.

I hated it so much last year! Before every single game I told myself I would never umpire again. And now for my second year I’ll be expected to improve—what was I thinking?!

I HAVE NO CLUE! So don’t ask.

But it’s too late to back out now.

I do have some plans of strategy to make this a more successful year:

  1. Study my rules and know them front and back. The only way I can be confident in my calls is by being dead sure of them
  2. Do my best to stick to softball, which means talking with the Chief Umpire
  3. Practice communicating with my other umpire, even if it’s just waving “hi” after every pitch

I have a bit of time right now to come up with a poem for the test, as I did last year.

I’m not feeling the inspiration though. I can’t get anything written. So we’ll see how that goes.

I want to thank one specific person. My darling friend Alexis constantly pulls the plug on my pride and also my gloom.

She has a beautiful and simple heart to love God and love others. She insured that “Singles Awareness Day” was anything but melancholy and has inspired me to love over and over. Our ideals, interests, and theology differs, but her smile is impossible to smother.

And now to go rolling into March–

I remain,
Yours Truly,

Ellie