Friday, January 20, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Refine"

Malachi 3:3 - And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

When I first saw the prompt, I had absolutely no inspiration, save the Scripture passage above.

I get that God wants us refined, but what does that really mean?  Whose standard are we to adhere to?  Christ, the head of the Church, has no issue with knowing and presenting the standard.  However, the problem comes when those who are to represent the church change the Lord's definition of "refined."  Instead of letting God's Word and the Holy Spirit truly transform the church from dross to fine gold, human pride and frailty get in the way.  In other words, when the Word of God is ignored and he/she who has the biggest wallet and/or worldly influence decides the next move of the church, we are in deep doo-doo.

Despite popular opinion, this is not a denominational specific problem. I've seen or heard of it in every type of church setting, whether evangelical or liturgical, large or small.  The problem is not the church; the problem is we have lost the spirit of the Refiner and lost His definition of what his family should look like.

Let's fix this, shall we?

Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Heading Home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oh Bother: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Come on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

ASAP typically stands for 'as soon as possible'. What else could it stand for in your life right now?
"As sleepy as permissible." I've had to function that way lately.  It's no fun.  Fortunately, I'm taking a day off Friday, so maybe I can get some rest.
Are you the last person to speak up in a group or the first to have an idea? Why do you suppose that is? Is it a good thing or no?
I am the first to have an idea, but the last to speak up in a group.  Usually, I'm in situations where I'm allowed to be with the group physically, but my input is not welcome.  So, it's best to keep quiet. 
What do you remember best about being 12? 
Not much--thank the Lord.  I remember it being my first year of high school, which wasn't a good memory.  Anyway, move on the nostalgia question.  That's a good one.
January 18th is National Winnie the Pooh Day. Which character do you relate to the most, and why? If you're stumped go here for inspiration. 

I find this question interesting.  My mentor has a plethora of things on the conference table where we meet.  I'm not sure what they're actually for, but sometimes I use them to express my mood.  Unfortunately, I routinely pick the Eeyore figurine.  It's no secret that I struggle with depression; in that I am like Eeyore.  However, I feel that I've broken away from persistent pessimism and the pain of an anhedonic existence.  So, I am working to be more like Pooh.  Only around children am I like Tigger.
What's an app you use that helps simplify or make life easier for you in some way? 
Runkeeper.  I have a Garmin watch and a FitBit, but Runkeeper is my preferred tracker.
San Francisco (CA), San Diego (CA), San Juan (PR) San Antonio (TX) Sanibel (FL) have an all expenses paid long weekend to one of these destinations. Which one do you choose and why?
San Francisco.  I keep hearing that it is full of culture and fun touristy things to do.  Plus, I just have a heart for California.  I'd also like to do the river walk in San Antonio.
 Share with us a song that makes you feel nostalgic? For what? 
Ah, the 80's.  Big hair, bright colors, people who actually sing and play musical instruments rather than put out music that sounds like it was written by an appliance (Thank Greg Proops for that one).  Makes me think of rushing from church on Sundays to listen to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio show.  The 80's is where I started my own journey towards musicianship.  I took my first music lessons in the 80's and have played ever since. 
Insert your own random thought here. 
Have a great week, y'all.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 01

Book: Promise Me Tomorrow. (Rocky Mountain Memories #4).

Author: Lori Wick

Info:  Copyright 1997: Eugene, OR:  Harvest House Publishers

Where acquired: Library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭

What it's about:  In this final volume of the Rocky Mountain Memories series, Wick picks up the story years after Book 3:  To Know Her By Name.  Catherine Taggart (known as "Rusty" by all), the oldest daughter of Clayton and Jacqueline Taggart (book 1), has a grand love of children.  She works with her Aunt and Uncle at an orphanage.  During a placement trip, Rusty meets Chase McCandles, a widower with a young son.  Through a set of mishaps, unrequited love, plus some divine intervention, Rusty and Chase end up at odds with each other with his child in the middle. 

Favorite Quotes:

The beauty of one phrase that Rusty prays struck me--but in a good way.  She prayed that God would "Remember me when You think of motherhood."  I thought it was simply beautiful.  She wasn't saying she would be a perfect mother or that she was better than anyone else, she simply knew that her life's call was to be a mother, and she wanted to have God's blessing as she fulfilled His purpose.  I know, usually I don't care for stuff like that, but I'd never heard a prayer for motherhood quite like that in any book, fiction or otherwise.

What I Liked:
  • This book is a great deal better than Book 3.
  • Rusty's interactions with children are fun to see.
  • Quite frankly, I like that way Rusty told off Chase about his treatment of his son.  By the time she let him have it, she was WARM!
  • This final volume does tie up some loose ends and bring in familiar characters from the prequels.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Like the lead female character in book 3, Rusty Taggart's character is written in a confusing manner.  During the opening chapters, she is presented as flighty, weak, and daft.  Later, her personality quickly changes to reveal a woman of strength and great passion, but with no outside precipitant to account for it.  It was almost as if her strength of character could only be revealed in the context of being around a male.
Good conclusion to the series.