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Showing posts from March, 2011

Can I pay my own restitution?

Driving home from a long weekend of youth ministry, this evening I had an epiphany. Restitution. I always seem to want to pay restitution and I get frustrated when I cannot. I harm someone with my words or actions and I want to make it right. I accidentally break something that belongs to someone else, so I replace it with something better. I seek forgiveness, but in seeking forgiveness it is so much more about what I am doing to fix the situation then it is about my receiving forgiveness as an unmerited gift. Hmmmm. Do I act a similar way in my relationship with God?
When I get that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach because I can't make something right, is that anxiousness a sign that perhaps I'm not the One to make it right?
What was that question asked in confirmation class tonight, "Whose debt did God redeem?" Well, I suppose it was mine, but then again it was no longer mine when God redeemed it. Yeah, that is right, it somehow became Jesus' debt…

What type of apologies are meaningful to you?

Wow! I am not a fan of assessments personally - I usually find that they tell me what I already know. But this assessment is incredible! I had never before really considered that people have different languages of apology and that different people need different types of apology.

This assessment showed me why some people's apologies never fully feel acceptable to me (and even at times seem insensitive) while others really speak to my heart and make it much easier to forgive.

Here is the assessment: Apology Language Profile

It is created by the same person who wrote about the 5 love languages.

My results:

9Expressing Regret5Accepting Responsibility3Making Restitution2Genuinely Repenting1Requesting Apology
I also re-took the 5 love languages assessment. What I discovered was that my love languages are different for my husband than what they are for my family and friends.

My results as a Wife:

10Words of Affirmation10Quality Time5Receiving Gifts1Acts of Service4Physical …

Parent Resource: How to respond to questions of faith regarding tragedy in Japan

Dear Parents/Guardians,For many young people, the tragedy of Japan is their first memorable experience of a major natural disaster.I’m sure that many parents have been asked some difficult questions by their teenage children. I want to encourage you as a parent to be responsive to their questions, even if your responsiveness is a simple, “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand either.”I also want to provide you with some resources that will help you to answer your children’s questions as well as initiate some discussions of your own.Here are a few good websites:http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/parenting/talk-to-kids-media-violence.shtmlhttp://birmingham.patch.com/articles/finding-time-to-talk-learn-during-time-of-tragedyhttp://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=7ZZWYWNXFamily Devotion Option:Watch this video: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=9CC9FFNU (You may want to screen this first to decide if it is appropriate for your children.)Pray together for Japan and people around the world.Family Di…

How Christian Parents Might Respond to Tragedy in Japan

Dear Parents/Guardians,For many young people, the tragedy of Japan is their first memorable experience of a major natural disaster.I’m sure that many of you have been asked some difficult questions by your teenage children. I want to encourage you as a parent to be responsive to their questions, even if your responsiveness is a simple, “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand either.”I also want to provide you with some resources that will help you to answer your children’s questions as well as initiate some discussions of your own.Here are a few good websites:http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/parenting/talk-to-kids-media-violence.shtmlhttp://birmingham.patch.com/articles/finding-time-to-talk-learn-during-time-of-tragedyFamily Devotion Option:Watch this video: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=9CC9FFNU (You may want to screen this first to decide if it is appropriate for your child.)Pray together for Japan and people around the world.Family Discussion & Prayer:In the midst of any tra…

My Arrogance - Accountability Questions for Integrity

There are times that my arrogance makes it difficult for me to recognize my sins. At other times I realize that things are sins that I hadn't previously recognized as sin. Most of the time though, when I read passages about controlling the tongue, I am convicted of sin.

When I was in college the idea of having an accountability partner was a big deal. Staff at our school would talk about meeting with another Christian or a small group of Christians to ask each other questions that would keep us accountable. The problem for my roommate and I when we decided to become accountability partners was that we had no clue what questions to ask each other. The lists provided by the school were not helpful and the questions we created for ourselves were too specific and they touched areas of our lives that we were not yet ready to change. Our hearts were not ready and we had not been given adequete resources.

Yesterday I read the assigned lectionary Scriptures for this past Sunday. They s…

Romans 5:12-21 - my most difficult passage

We all have passages of Scripture that we find difficult to understand and wonder about its meaning. There are two passages that stand out to me as confusing and other worldly. The first is Romans 5:12-21. Like so many passages, one of the reasons this section of Scripture is difficult for me is because of the various interpretations that I have heard of this text and the different theological beliefs that influence how one interprets this text.

Some use this Scripture to explain original sin. They point out that through Adam we all have sinned. They look at the power of Christ's one sacrificial act and point out how the sin of the original human being could have such a universal appeal. But then I look at this passage and wonder, if this passage is used to justify or explain original sin, then wouldn't it also stand to reason that there is universal salvation. Because if all have sinned and all have gained death as a result of that sin, a parallel reading would mean tha…