Monday, March 30, 2009

Misinterpreted Too Much

Dear God,

I just can't seem to move out of some patterns I have. This is not the first time my actions have appeared different from what I've meant them to be. God, thank you for the friends that can come and tell me afterwards that it looked a certain way. I'm not mad when they tell me, but I wish I could see it too. I don't mean it to seem that way. I thought I was treating them the same way as everyone else. I don't want to draw attention to that and scare that person away. But apparently it seems that again I have done so. I'm so disappointed in myself God, because I didn't see the reactions at the time. My intentions were good, but it didn't come across that way. Would it be so hard if I could just start a relationship with this type of person without messing it up first? Without going overboard? How come they all can see it but I can't? I don't want to be that kind of person, but it seems that no matter how hard I try I always end up coming across that way anyway. I don't know what to do God.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


Going home over break, I was confronted by something. Apparently my brother thinks I am a hypocrite. But it wasn't him who told me, it was my Dad. For the last several months my brother has treated me with little to no respect whenever I have been around him or talked to him, and I have had no idea why. So my Dad tells me that my brother considers me a hypocrite because my opinion has changed about alcohol. Before I came to college I was very against drinking and alcohol for many reasons. I thought I was supposed to think that alcohol was bad and that if I didn't my parents would be mad at me, even though my Dad would drink a beer every now and then. And, even though it's a really bizarre reason, I thought that if you drank just a little you would become an alcoholic. Don't ask why I thought that, but I did. As I've grown up, though, I have learned about things and changed my mind about a lot of opinions. Now, I think it's perfectly fine to drink as long as you don't get drunk and you are of legal age. And I have had a couple drinks since I've turned 21. What got me the most was the question my Dad posed to me - "So were you a hypocrite then or a hypocrite now?" That hurt. Does he really view me as a hypocrite? Is it not possible for 'the talk' to change as long as 'the walk' does as well? It hurts even more that my Dad thinks of me this way than if my brother does. My brother is only 14 and thinks he is 'the man' and knows everything. One day he will realize my point of view...maybe. My Dad on the other hand... Anyway, that's what's on my mind.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


"And now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said 'Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Tell her to help me'. But the Lord answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her'."
Luke 10:38-42

So many times, when I've heard this passage talked about, Martha is always looked at as the bad sister. The one whom Jesus tells she should worship at His feet instead of working in the kitchen. Martha has developed a bad reputation because of it. But I am going to propose a different side to her story. Instead of rebuking her for not being at His feet, Jesus is rebuking Martha for rebuking her sister and telling Him what to do. Martha's spiritual gifting is serving and Mary's is worship. I approached my life group with this question-Do you really think that God would ask anyone to leave their gifting behind and sit at His feet? The answer is yes and no. Yes because God wants us to spend time with Him and sit in His presence every day. And no because we live in the world still and to leave our gifting behind completely would not allow us to glorify God in the world and show His love to others. We won't be able to abandon the gifts He has given us completely and sit at His feet all the time until we're in Heaven.

I have also heard this passage interpreted as God saying that we should not serve; this kind of goes off of the previous interpretation. But guess what? That is completely FALSE. In Romans 12:4-8, we read about some of the gifts of the Spirit. Serving is listed as one of them. "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23-24"

Serving comes as a Spiritual gifting by itself, but it is also a part of all the gifts of the Spirit. “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10” Whether we realize it or not, serving is a part of everything we do. An evangelist serves by giving their time to talk to people, a hospitable person serves by giving their home to others, and an intercessor serves by giving their time in prayer for others. If we didn’t serve within our own gifts then the evangelist wouldn’t get anywhere, the hospitable person may tell people that they have to get whatever they want by themselves all the time and an intercessor wouldn’t really be one because serving comes with it all. Now serving is a gift in itself and encompasses all the ways one person can serve another.

In this world, though, we get caught up in thinking that everyone should be doing more of what our own gifting is. Not to pick on them at all but the evangelists say we need to evangelize more, the hospitality people say we need to open our houses more, and the intercessors say we need to intercede more for others. Going back to Romans 12:4-6, it says “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one in the body of Christ, and individually members of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise, according to the proportion of his faith;”. If we all did the same thing, the kingdom of God would get nowhere and everything would be in total disarray. Martha got caught up thinking that her sister needed to serve more. She was distracted that morning, maybe because she hadn’t had her quiet time that morning or hadn’t sat in Jesus’ presence for a while. If we don’t do that, we become like Martha-distracted and unable to function in our gifts to the best of our ability. We start thinking the way the world does and complaining that no one is helping us whether verbally or internally.

Now here’s the big question- if Jesus was telling Martha to stop serving, did she? Let’s look in John 12:1-3 “Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there and MARTHA WAS SERVING; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of perfume”. Again we see Martha in the kitchen and Mary at Jesus’ feet. It must have been important to state that Martha was serving otherwise it would not be in the Bible. This time she does not become upset that her sister is not helping though. Perhaps she has learned and had her time to sit with Jesus before. Martha should not have the bad reputation that she does, because we are more like her than we realize; not all the time, but definitely sometimes. I am Martha; a servant who has off days every now and then.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lessons from an 8 Year Old

The second grade girls in the inner city school I observe in love to touch my hair. They always tell me how pretty they think it is. Today in particular, two girls were feeling my hair and earrings. Now this may seem weird, but it doesn't weird me out at all. One of the girls said to me, "Your hair is so pretty and soft and you're so beautiful". I was touched by her comment and told her thanks and that she is very beautiful as well. Another student commented on how my eyes were green. Then it occured to me 'These girls grow up in a society where soft, silky hair and light colored eyes are the good thing to have; that's what makes you beautiful. And these girls have neither'. Being in an inner city school, 80% of the children attending there are black . They all have dark eyes and hair that is reckless and unmanagable. They see me as beautiful, but I don't think they consider themselves beautiful. Some of you may be thinking that second graders don't think that way, and you may be right. But what about 5th and 6th graders? They do think that way. These girls are constantly told through the media or people they come in contact with everyday that white girls are more beautiful. Their hair is better and their eyes are prettier. As Kerri pointed out to me one day, there are no brown colored contacts sold. And even many black models fix their hair so that it is more like the 'perfect hair', if that even exists. I have heard of black girls going through tremendous hair treatments to get their hair to what society says is pretty. There are several boys in this class who will openly and unabashedly tell the girls that they are ugly. I always wonder why they do this, and I'm sure that it's not just the black boys that say these things. I know white boys who are just as mean. Am I saying that white girls are prettier? NOT AT ALL! These girls are so beautiful with their dark brown eyes and intricate braiding hairstyles. If I wore my hair the way some of the girls do I would look ridiculous, but these girls look beautiful that way. I never really realized the true impact light eyes and the perfect hair had on anyone. I had the knowledge of it, but it didn't really sink in til now.